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I'll just post the first 2 paragraphs here.

Toyota Hopes to Push Its Hybrids Beyond the Niche

TOKYO, Sept. 5 - With Hurricane Katrina pushing American gas prices above $3 a gallon at the pump, Toyota Motor may find itself in the right place at the right time, with a new, half-mile assembly line capable of producing gasoline-electric hybrid Prius cars at the rate of one a minute.

The line, in a factory in Toyota City, is part of a strategy by Japan's largest company to expand hybrids from a niche in the marketplace (just 5 percent of its American sales now) to mainstream (25 percent of its sales by 2010).

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Also, in case there's still any doubt, also from the article:

Toyota has about 650 patents on its hybrid technology, the fruits of $800 million reportedly spent to develop the Prius. Toyota licenses its hybrid technology to Nissan and Ford.

The company says it has reached the break-even point on its hybrid technology, but Kunihiko Shiohara, chief automotive analyst for Goldman Sachs Japan, said it was impossible to confirm that assertion without knowing how much was spent on research and development.

Mr. Sanger, of Macquarie Securities, said, "The benefit of being Toyota is that you are making so much money in so many areas you can take a long-term strategy." He added that Toyota could afford to lose money with hybrids while gaining market share and consumer acceptance.

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That should answer 2 questions right there.
1) Q: is the Prius being sold at a loss?
A: If you take the number of Prii sold, and devide by the total R&D budget to develope the Hybrid Synergy Drive ($800m), then the Prii are probably being sold at a loss. If you take just the production cost of a Prius, vs. the sale price, then the Prius is making money.
2) Q: Does Ford license it's hybrid tech from Toyota?
A: Yes.

In the mean time, here's the news about Ford and GM.
 

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To be exact, "licensing to Ford" is not synonymous with "Ford uses Toyota technology".

Certainly the recurring price of the Prius covers the recurring cost, and there is unit profit. The questin is, how many cars do yo uamortize the nonrecurring cost over? Prius to date? Ten years of Prius production? All Toyota hybrid production? Do you subtract the license fees from the cost value?

No car maker (except GM) stays in business losing money... and Toyota is staying in business!
 

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Per Dave Hermance in an EE Times article this week, by the end of 2005, Toyota will have sold over 500,000 hybrids. So unit amortization of R&D is already down to $1,600.
 
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