Asahi Shimbun. Toyota Motor will double its production of hybrid vehicles to 500,000 units in 2006 from the 2005 level to meet rising global demand, especially in North America.
Toyota expects demand for hybrids to increase amid rising oil prices and ever-improving performance of the autos.
The increase in production will focus on the Prius as well as on SUVs (Harrier and Kluger in Japan, Rx400h and Highlander in North America), according to the report. By the end of 2006, Toyota plans to add hybrid versions of its luxury sedans sold under the Lexus brand.
Toyota plans to increase monthly production of hybrid Harriers and hybrid Klugers by 50% to 12,000 units each from September at Toyota Motor Kyushu Inc.&rsqou;s factory in Fukuoka Prefecture.
The Tsutsumi Plant in Toyota, Aichi Prefecture, will increase production of the Prius by 20 percent to 30 percent.
In 2006, Toyota will begin assembling several thousand Prius cars a year at its factory jointly established with China FAW Group Corp. in Changchun, China. Toyota will also build 50,000 hybrid versions of the Camry annually at its factory in Kentucky starting in 2006.
Separately, Motor Age, in its June 2005 issue, reports that:
Toyota has confirmed that over the next 24 months it will bring some 12 new hybrids to market, many configured on current production vehicles.
Motor Age is a trade magazine for automotive technicians.
(A hat-tip to Jack Rosebro!)