Toyota Motor Sales USA said on October 1 that its Prius gasoline-electric hybrid sedan will receive an increase in allocation for the U.S. market in calendar year 2005 to 100,000 units annually, approximately double the 2004 allocation. The announcement coincides with Prius passing the 100,000 sales mark since first going on sale in summer 2000. Globally, Toyota has sold over a quarter-million hybrid vehicles since the introduction of the first-generation Prius sedan, the world's first mass-produced hybrid vehicle, in December 1997. In addition to Prius, Toyota has built hybrid vans, box trucks, small buses and luxury sedans for sale in the Japan domestic market. Toyota will bring two more hybrid vehicles to the U.S. market early next year, with the arrival of the Lexus RX 400h and Toyota Highlander hybrid sport/utility vehicles. The increase in allocation is part of Toyota Motor Corporation's recent announcement that it would boost monthly production of the Prius from approximately 10,000 units per month to 15,000, in order to meet global demand. The additional 5,000 units will be built on an existing assembly line at an existing production facility in Japan. The specific location of the plant will be announced at a later date and production will begin in early 2005. The increased allocation marks the second production increase for the second-generation Prius since it launched in October 2003 in the U.S. The original production plan for the 2004 model was 36,000 units annually. With 12,000 pre-orders received before the vehicle launched in mid-October 2003 and approximately 10,000 units delivered in its first six weeks on sale, production was increased in December 2003 to 47,000 units annually. With demand continuing to escalate, it became necessary to boost production once again.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials