Toyota confirmed today that the Prius hybrid sedan will be built in USA, at a plant under construction in Blue Springs, Miss. Production is scheduled to begin in late 2010.
Also, the Highlander mid-size SUV, originally scheduled to be built in Mississippi, will now be manufactured in Princeton, Ind., beginning in Fall 2009.
The production of Tundra , that by the way has been busted to 50.000 units a year, will be moved to the San Antonio plant in Spring 2009.
In addition, Toyota will temporarily suspend Tundra and Sequoia production beginning August 8 due to the declining overall market for full size trucks and SUVs. Production is scheduled to resume in early November.
The Japanese magazine Nikkei reports today that the next generation Prius will feature solar panels, in this way Toyota becoming the first major automaker to use solar power for a vehicle.
Toyota would equip solar panels on the roof of the high-end version of the Prius when it redesigns the gasoline-electric hybrid car early next year, and the power generated by the system would be used for the air conditioning.
The solar panels will be made by Kyocera Corp.
Next generation Prius will make its world debut in 2009 at the Detroit Auto show.
Toyota will unveil the next-generation Prius hybrid in 2009 at the Detroit Auto show, and according to Car And Driver this is how it might look like.
It will be slightly larger, a bit more spacious inside, and trimmed with more luxury options. The engine will grow and become a tad snappier in its sprint while returning even better fuel economy. A plug-in model should arrive in 2010.
The 2010 Prius will be $1000 more expensive than the current model, so the price could go up to $29,692 for a fully loaded 2008 Prius.
According to Automotive News, Toyota is in talks with General Motors about producing the hybrid Prius at their joint production venture in California. If the two companies will reach agreement would be for the first time that the Prius — the world’s first mass-produced gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle — is made in the United States.
Toyota may produce Prius cars at New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. (NUMMI), a venture established by the two groups in 1984 that currently makes Toyota Corolla, Toyota Tacoma, Toyota Matrix, and Pontiac Vibe vehicles, it said.
The Japanese company plans to ship key components from Japan and assemble them at the venture in Fremont, Calif., where demand for environmentally friendly cars is high, the newspaper said.
Toyota aims to sell at least 1 million hybrid vehicles a year from the early 2010s. It currently produces the Prius in Japan and China.
Toyota announced today that worldwide cumulative sales of the Toyota Prius —the world’s first mass-produced gasoline/electric hybrid vehicle—have passed the 1 million mark, with approximately 1,028,000 units sold as of the end of April this year*1. Currently, Prius sales are robust in more than 40 countries and regions, particularly in Japan and North America.
Based on sales figures collected up to April 30, 2008, TMC believes that Prius vehicles worldwide have contributed to a reduction in CO2 emissions (considered a cause of global warming) by producing approximately 4.5 million tons*2 less CO2 when compared with gasoline-powered vehicles in the same class and of similar size and driving performance.
The Prius was launched in Japan in 1997 and began selling in Europe, North America and other markets in 2000. In 2005, Toyota began first overseas production of the Prius in Changchun, China, and sales of Prius vehicles in South Korea are expected to begin in the latter half of 2009.
Toyota will unveil the next generation Prius next year at the Detroit Auto Show. Sales will begin in late 2009. It will be larger than the current generation, but also greener and better to drive than today’s globally successful model.
The hatchback will be about 10cm longer and 3cm wider than today’s car and, to cope with the bigger size, the engine will move up from 1.5 to 1.8 litres. Power should increase to 100bhp.
Toyota says it can achieve this higher output while still improving economy and lowering emissions. Sources in Japan claim that Toyota is aiming for a 12 per cent improvement in fuel consumption, leading to a combined economy of over 70mpg and C02 emissions of just over 90g/km.
Lexus hybrids have been very easy on the environment. Their hybrids are by far the most technologically advanced of the ones found today in the market. On that context, a re-badged Prius was talked about by many including Toyota president Katsuaki Watanabe, but there was no news or sightings of a test mule; Until now- this Prius err.. Lexus was spotted testing in California.
New rims, quad exhausts, and a lowered stance are the new additions. Expect the interiors to look space ship-like along with all the bells and whistles. When it goes on sale sometime in 2009, it will likely be the cheapest Lexus one can buy. All in all, a premium version of U.S’ most preferred eco-friendly car.
You may wonder if this is a joke...well it isn’t! It is true! The 2.0 liter diesel engine of the Bmw showed better fuel economy than the well-known eco-friendly Toyota Prius. Some of you may see this camparison between the two cars ridiculous but if we look at the CO2 emissions of the two vehicles we see that there are almost equal: the Bmw delivers 41.9 mpg while the Prius, with almost 250 kg lighter, delivers 40.1 mpg.
The test between the two cars was made on the London-to-Geneva route. The Bmw equipped with a series of energy-saving features like the battery recharge when braking, good aerodynamics, low rolling resistance in a word the so-called EfficientDynamics showed no problems on the road and by the end of it also remained with a third of its tank in reserve.
Cars.com, has released its pick of hybrid cars that are presently available in the market. The Toyota Prius was their best pick followed by Saturn Vue Green Line and Honda Civic . Efficiency and price were the two main criteria the rankings were based on.
The hybrids were compared to the lowest-priced, most-efficient gas-only sibling. Both versions of the car were then compared on mileage and price difference, in percent, and the results were derived.
“We know that not all buyers are willing to pay the premium for the sake of driving a hybrid. There needs to be a payoff, so our ranking highlights those hybrids that give buyers the greatest return for their investment,” stated Cars.com senior editor Joe Wiesenfelder.
Inspired by the big success the Prius already has, Toyota might bring more versions next decade. This way the Prius could become a brand of its own with a range of models.
"We are studying that, but I can’t say what stage of the study we are in," Kazuo Okamoto, Toyota Motor Corp.’s executive vice president for r&d, said in an interview. "I do think it is a reasonable direction."
Asked about coupes, sedans and wagons, Okamoto said, "Using the Prius platform for various variations is possible." Okamoto alo said: "Prius recognition level is increasing" worldwide, which could result in a wider model line.