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The overwhelming demand in Japan for the new Toyota Prius c (known as the Toyota Aqua Hybrid) could affect the number of vehicles the US receives when they start to arrive in March.
Toyota reported that they have received 120,000 orders in Japan for their new compact hybrid sedan, a number 10-times the 12,000 they were targeting per month.
The smaller compact hybrid, produced by Toyota subsidiary Kanto Auto Works Ltd. in the northern prefecture of Iwate, could see a boost in production from 240,000 a year to 320,000 a year. Currently a customer that orders the Aqua Hybrid in Japan will have to wait until at least July to get their vehicle, causing us to wonder how this will affect American availability.
“We haven’t set a sales plan for the United States yet, and so we can’t say how much the affect would be,” Toyota spokeswoman Amiko Tomita said. In the past, Toyota had no problems diverting Prius production back to its home country, leaving America with shortages. The Prius c could also be in high demand in America, with its fuel-efficient hybrid powertrain and its below $20,000 MSRP. Current Prius owners seeking the best bang for their buck might have no problems “trading down” to the smaller, more efficient, and cheaper hybrid.
GALLERY: Toyota Prius c
Toyota‘s upcoming Prius c is known in Japan as the Aqua hybrid, and Toyota of Japan is reporting that they’ve received 60,000 orders for the compact sedan as sales start rolling on the new hybrid.
The latest hybrid model from Toyota looks to have a promising start as Toyota hopes to have a monthly sales rate of 12,000 vehicles. Toyota hopes that the Aqua hybrid will help the brand regain sales after taking a dive due to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and Thailand’s floods.
Out in Japan though, Toyota is anticipating customers will have a four month wait before they can take possession of their ordered Aqua hybrid. The overwhelming orders in Japan makes the upcoming model seem promising as it prepares for its global debut next year.
Toyota plans on selling the Prius c in 50 different countries and currently its priced very competitively in Japan at about $22,000 based on today’s conversion rates. The Prius c is anticipated to get 50- to 60-mpg with a 1.4L four-cylinder with 74-hp and 82 lb-ft of torque while the electric motor will provide 61-hp and 125 lb-ft of torque for a total of 100-hp combined.
[Source: Wall Street Journal]