Toyota Motor Corp plans to increase production of its most popular hybrid car – the Prius – up to 50% (300.000 units)

The paper said the automaker would shift production of other models away from plants where it produces Prius sedans and use the vacant equipment to increase output while limiting additional investment. A Toyota spokeswoman could not immediately confirm the report.

Toyota on Wednesday lifted its interim net profit outlook by a third and mapped out a plan to keep cranking up its sales by rolling out new strategic cars and boosting plant efficiencies.

Toyota Motor Corp is expecting to sell 9.8 million in 2007, in favor to 8.85 million this year, supported by the planned addition of 1.13 million units in output capacity worldwide between 2006 and 2008.

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