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AutoWorld.com - M. Benson
AutoWorld - At a press conference in Nagoya, Japan earlier today, Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announced that it will boost monthly production of the Prius gas-electric hybrid sedan from approximately 10,000 units per month to 15,000, in order to meet global demand. Toyota Motor Sales (TMS) U.S.A., Inc., announced today that it is negotiating with TMC to significantly increase its North American allocation of the Prius for model-year 2005, to help meet the vehicle's unprecedented demand in the U.S. market.
"When the all-new second-generation Prius was launched in mid-October of last year, we had an annual sales plan of about 36,000 units," said Don Esmond, Toyota Division senior vice president and general manager. "Two months later, in December 2003, we announced a 31-percent increase in our sales plan to 47,000 units annually, and promised that if we needed more, we would build more. Clearly, the extraordinary response to Prius took us by surprise. With demand far-outstripping supply, customers have been forced to wait many months for delivery. Our announcement to increase production by fifty percent, should prove to our dealers and our customers that we are good on our word."
The additional 5,000 units per month 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. Production will begin during the first half of 2005.
Prius (the name comes from the Latin "to go before") was the world's first mass-produced gas-electric hybrid vehicle when introduced in Japan in 1997. In 2000, it was introduced in the U.S. market and has since become the best-selling hybrid vehicle in the world.
Improved in every metric of comparison, the second-generation, 2004 Prius is the first hybrid vehicle to provide the room, comfort and features of a midsize sedan. The new Prius is the first Toyota product to employ Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive, gas-electric hybrid power-train technology. The new system produces more power from both the gasoline engine and the electric motor, giving the Prius acceleration comparable to the Camry midsize sedan. It carries an estimated EPA rating of 60 MPG in city driving and 51 MPG on the highway, with a combined EPA mileage estimate of 55 MPG compared to 48 MPG for the previous-generation Prius. And like the previous model, Prius never needs to be plugged in for recharging.
In addition to its best-in-class fuel economy, the new Prius emits 30 percent fewer emissions than the previous model. That equates to producing nearly 90 percent fewer smog-forming emissions than a conventional internal combustion engine vehicle. Prius has been certified as a Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV) and an Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (AT-PZEV) category vehicle in California and those states adopting California standards.
Visit http://www.autoworld.com for a complete price chart, additional product information and photography. Free Invoice and Trade-In pricing reports along with free insurance quotes, warranty quotes, finance quotes.

ARIZONA CHARLIE
 

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On what date was that memo received?

I recently ordered a Prius, but I was told that even though they increased production, they have received many more orders, so it still may be several months before I receive one.

Thanks.
 

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Quoted from a news article dated August 5th, it's refering to the additional 5,000 units per month:

"Toyota will announce the new location later in the year, with production starting within the first half of next year. "

That means with shipping time, we won't see the extra Priuses for several more months anyhow, certainly not in 2004.
 

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I guess that's not as new as I would have hoped.

I read in a local newspaper that the 2005s will begin to ship on 9/14. Has anyone heard if they are rumored to again up production?
 

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I don't know why they are called 2005 models when there is no change and they are produced in 2004. But I digress.

Apparently the "2004 production" cars have all been shipped. Toyota shortened the packages, made the rear wiper standard, increased the price, and so on...(we all know this by now). These "2005 production" cars have started to ship and will reach the buyers in mid-September. These are all at the current production level, apparently the current plant is running at maximum capacity.

The extra 5000 units a month has to be produced at another plant and will only start early 2005.

Don't forget also there will be other hybrid models available by then, so demand will change for sure, although I don't think many potential Prius buyers would wait and buy a Ford hybrid SUV.
 

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Expect the increase to start showing up around the november/december time frame (est from SET). May of 05 the Highlander hybrid should hit the market, expect a wait on the first ordered units similar to current prius for the first few months until production gets moving. Highlander is supposed to be a larger production off of lessons learned from prius.
 

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vegas1 said:
I don't know why they are called 2005 models when there is no change and they are produced in 2004.
Speculation: Late in the calendar year, buyers would wait for the next year to reap the eventual trade-in benefits of the newer model year, so the car makers get the jump on them by introducing the new model year a few months early.

Alternative: When there is a new model, car makers like to get the jump on each other by introducing it before the calendar year; but now the September/October model year introduction has become so standard, that even when there is no change, they use the earlier date.

Neither of the above makes any real sense. Either way, it's probably driven by marketing. And marketing, as we all know, is the science of convincing people that if you have your own head in a certain unlit location, that they should do likewise, and pay you for the privilege.
 

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This is good news to see an increase in production, though I think they should just go and add 2500 additional cars to what the announcement said :)

Oh and the all caps in the title, that's rather annoying so try not to do that in the future...mm'kay?
 

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It is my humble opinion that Toyota doth not speaketh the truth. Last December 2003 I was told by my young, eager Toyota salesperson that Toyota had already decided to increase production on the 2004's. I would get my car in March. Sure.

Each month he learned a different "tale" from Toyota. Next came the information that the folks who provide the "parts" were not able to supply them. Hence, Toyota was not able to "up production" as planned.

I think that Toyota may have planned this little lack of supply-- increasing heightened desire for the car and DEMAND. And I do not believe that they will be increasing production significantly of the 2005s.

Look at the results of the low availability: (1) They heightened interest and demand by making us "salivate" and wait-- and wait-- and wait. (2) They perpetrated a "hoax" by having us "order a car"-- when in reality we got a car by taking what was offered to us-- or what was offered to the folks in front of us on the list and rejected. (Those folks might wait til they grow long facial hair....) (3) Due to low supply and intense high demand, Toyota has been able to significantly increase the price: not once!! but TWICE since October 2003: (once in the spring and then again in the summer for the 2005s.)

I'd say they have "played" us like a violin-- magnificently. I love my car and I am happy that I got on another shorter list in a farming community. After a two month wait, I was offered a car that two folks ahead of me on the list did not want. (I had been on a longer list for 5 months-- with little hope in sight....)

So-- if you want a car-- go the the communities where demand is not as high-- like Effingham, IL.

PS Who is the guy who signs off by saying that he got his Prius in two days? Could he explain for all to read how he researched the car and found a dealer so quickly? It really would be helpful for so many of our readers who are waiting-- and waiting-- and waiting. Give us tips!!! (I can't remember his name on this site.)
 

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No wait

karenann said:
PS Who is the guy who signs off by saying that he got his Prius in two days? Could he explain for all to read how he researched the car and found a dealer so quickly? It really would be helpful for so many of our readers who are waiting-- and waiting-- and waiting. Give us tips!!! (I can't remember his name on this site.)
I'm not that guy, but I did get mine really quick.

I sent "Quick Quote" requests Sept 17 for the 2004 model then went on vacation for a week. When I got back Monday 9/27, I opened an e-mail that was sent to me two days earlier that two Prii were available at a dealership a mile from my work (Metro Atlanta). I test drove it at lunch, then passed on paying MSRP. Tues 9/28 I decided to go for it, since other dealerships told me they had none available and wait lists for the ones coming in. I did notice that the further away from the city I went, the shorter the wait lists. I bought it... never got on a list, never waited.

I was just checking the local dealership web sites and it looks like they've got quite a few 2005s already in and coming. My thought is that people passed on the 2004s with the 2005s coming in a week.

I'm satisfied with the price, especially when I compare it to anything else out there, including the Honda Hybrids. I don't like that Southeast Toyota added a "Toyoguard Protection Group" for $699 sealant, window etching and roadside (36k). Seems bogus and I didn't want it, but I paid. How did you decide what you'd be willing to pay? Had Toyota started with a higher MSRP and not raised it, would you have been less bothered?

I researched prices of regular cars, used cars, other hybrids and determined cost of ownership for 6+ years. After that, Prius wins hands down for me.

Another thought that my Navy vet husband had was that we just reduced our dependency on Middle East oil by almost two-thirds... save a soldier. Had I spent more, it would be worth it to me to do so.
 
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