Prius hybrid minivan delayed in Japan because of tsunami disaster image

Toyota Motor Co. said on Wednesday that the company will delay the launch of the Prius hybrid minivan in Japan due to disruptions in parts supply following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Toyota spokesman Paul Nolasco said the automaker initially planned to roll out the Prius minivan in April.
But the disaster has crippled suppliers and destroyed shops, forcing Toyota to postpone the launch.

Japan’s “automotive industry is facing acute and unprecedented problems relating to component and power-supply shortages.

Toyota’s profit may be cut by 6.5 billion yen ($80 million) for each day of lost output, said analyst Koji Endo at Advanced Research Japan in Tokyo.

The Prius is sold in more than 70 countries and regions, and has its largest markets in the United States, Japan, and Europe.

Toyota announced that its worldwide cumulative sales of the Prius had passed the 1 million mark; worldwide cumulative sales surpassed 2 million units in September 2010.