The Nihon Keizai Shimbun reports that Toyota will increase the production of the Prius in Japan by 50% to about 300,000 vehicles in 2007.
Toyota currently manufactures the hybrid almost completely in Japan and exports the vehicles to 40 countries and regions. The company already plans to increase annual output by 15% to about 200,000 vehicles this year, but demand still exceeds production.
Toyota intends to increase Prius production while curbing investment by reorganizing production lines. Production of models other than the Prius are to be moved to other sites from two plants in Aichi Prefecture that currently roll out the hybrid vehicles.
Toyota has set a sales target of 1 million hybrids annually by the early 2010s. The company plans a combination of increasing output of the Prius and offering more hybrid versions of other models.
Earlier this week, Toyota announced it is targeting global sales of 9.8 million vehicles in 2008, up from 8.13 million in 2005, by selling more cars in China and the rest of Asia as well as by tapping emerging markets.
The plan positions Asia as the region with the sharpest growth and calls for tripling Chinese sales from the 2005 figure to 600,000 vehicles by building up dealer and service networks for such models as the Corolla and Camry. Toyota also manufactures the Prius in China.
The company will push for increased market share in the BRIC countries—Brazil, Russia, India and China—with the introduction of a low-priced small car around 2010.