Toyota raises production targets for Prius 2010

For the first time in six months,  demand for Toyota Motor's Prius electric hybrid has picked up significantly, enabling the company to raise its production targets, which will be met through overtime production at two Japanese plants from next month.

The Nikkei daily reported that Toyota has decided to increase the production of its new Prius, the 2010, by around 20 per cent from around 42,000 to about 50,000 units per month, requiring  enhanced production timings for which the Japanese car maker plans to introduce overtime next month at its two factories at Kariya and Toyota where the Prius is manufactured.

Last month, Toyota had raised its full year production target for  the new hybrid from 300,000 to 450,000-500,000 units for 2009. In 2008, it is reported to have sold 280,000 units.

In Japan, the pre-orders for the 2010 Prius began last month and the official launch started on 18 May. In the US, Toyota is launching an aggressive campaign for the sale of this model at the end of this month. Toyota Prius is already a well established hybrid in North America. (See: New Toyota Prius to debut US market by end May).

The advance orders for Prius in Japan have surpassed Toyota's expectations, which were initially pegged at 40,000 but later raised to 60,000-70,000, according to the report

In Japan Toyota sold 73,100 units of the current Prius model last year.