Toyota is increasing production on its Prius ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Toyota is increasing production on its Prius

Friday, September 22, 2006

Toyota is increasing production on its Prius

Toyota is looking to increase production of the Prius to 300,000 units in 2007, an increase of 50 percent according to the Nihon Keizai. Toyota has projected worldwide sales of 1 million hybrid annually soon after 2010. In order to do that, they will be offereing twice the number of hybrids and would need to increase production on all the models.

With the Toyota Camry Hybrid production switching to the plant in Kentucky, letting them switch back to building the Prius in their plant in Japan. The carmaker has stated sales of the Prius have been limited since the release of the Camry hybrid to what they could build. Consumers on waiting lists for weeks to months will most likely be jumping for joy at the news.

But, Toyota may be facing some difficulties in the months ahead. The federal tax credit on hybrid cars sold by Toyota (and Lexus) will be cut in half after September 30th. For instance, the Toyota Prius tax credit will be cut from $3,100 to $1,575, while other manufacturers can still offer the full tax credit on their cars. Honda probably will be offering the full credit when Toyota has to cut that in half again on April 1, 2007, while Ford will most likely be offering the full credit right up until it expires at the end of 2010.

It's hard to imagine that Toyota could lose some of the hybrid market it has dominated, but it is possible. In the meantime, Toyota is forecasting sales growth of 11 percent to 9.8 million units in 2008.

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