Toyota Struggles to Keep up With Demand for 2010 Prius

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Toyota Struggles to Keep up With Demand for 2010 Prius

While Toyota’s sales may be suffering as a whole, sales of the all-new 2010 Prius are well above expectations. In fact, the Japanese automaker is having trouble keeping up with demand – something which may result in lengthy waiting lists for the third-generation of Toyota’s successful hybrid.

At the two facilities where the Prius is built in Japan, the plants are running 24 hours a day. To help staff the plants, Toyota has recruited workers from some of its other facilities and has restricted holidays for the summer.

And yet that still might not be enough.

Toyota says it can build as many as 50,000 units a month and it expected that with the dismal economy it could easily handle a forecasted volume of 400,000 units for the year. But before the Prius even when on sale Toyota had taken 80,000 orders for the car and sales in Japan last month topped 110,000 units.

This mini economic boom is having a positive effect on Toyota’s many suppliers, like Panasonic EV Energy, which makes the batteries for the 2010 Prius.

The popularity of the Prius is even prompting Toyota executives to reconsider moving Prius production to the United States, at a facility to be built in Blue Springs, Miss. – a project that was put on hold due to the high overhead costs (and, therefore, economic risk) of building a hybrid assembly plant.

If the 2010 Prius continues to sell well above the expected volume it could help Toyota surpass its sales goal this year of 6.5 million units.

[Source: The New York Times]

  • Rutledge Webb

    I say B.S. Toyota is merely trying to fill the pipeline with a new model. There is not a huge demand for these cars.
    Looks like the writer of this article fell for the “Toyota is the best car company in the World” sentiment.

  • Joe Sixpack

    I’ve seen the 2010 Prius in person at a local Toyota dealer. Took me a few moments to realize it was not the old model. Only the front end gave it away. Nothing groundbreaking by any means. The interior is ultra-plain, uninspired, and as cheap and chintzy looking as ever. The rear end looks almost the same. The front end looks goofier than the old model. The 17″ wheels on it looked over-sized, out of place, and rather juvenile. I cannot imagine the typical greenie or fashion mom in any way appreciating the harsh, pounding ride from 45 series tires.

  • J in Pasadena

    You guys are ‘tards. The new Prius is awesome. It’s the best car on the market anywhere right now. The new body lines make it sporty. The improved drivetrain gets the best mileage in 20 years for a high volume production car. The new cockpit layout is an awesome improvement over the prior models. This is Prius matured. Absolutely an achievement for Toyota. BTW, no honestly eco-friendly consumer wants leather seats. I got cloth so I can resell it to a vegan later. But if you just want the mileage they have leather seats for extra buck$. The features with those extra bucks are way cool too.