Toyota begins third-generation Prius production in China image

Toyota Motor Corp., on Monday said it has begun production of the Prius gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle at its Changchun Plant in China. Sales of the vehicle will begin in early 2012.

According to the automaker, production of the Prius began in China in 2005, marking the first time the vehicle was produced outside Japan.

In October at a cornerstone-laying ceremony for Toyota Motor Engineering &
Manufacturing (China) Co., Ltd.’s R&D Center in Changshu, TMC announced plans to
further localize production of hybrid technologies in China.

At the ceremony, President Akio Toyoda stated TMC’s intent to create a development group for the
production of Chinese-made hybrid vehicles and to realize the localized production of
hybrid system components by around 2015.

In Japan, Prius is one of the bestselling hybrid. Sales of the flagship hybrid of Japan’s auto giant totaled 34,164 vehicles in November, according to data released Tuesday by the Japan Automobile Dealers Association.

In addition, the Japanese automaker has just released some interesting details about its 2012 Prius v.

According to the car manufacturer, the new Toyota Prius v is powered by a 1.8 liter four-cylinder double overhead cam (DOHC) 16 valve VVT-i engine which is developing 98 horsepower at 5.200 rpm and has a peak torque of 142 Nm (105 lb-ft) available at 4.000 rpm, and an 80 horsepower electric motor with 153 lb-ft of torque (207 Nm), generating a total output of 134 horsepower (100 kW) and “helped” by the nickel-metal hydride 36 HP and 650V battery pack.