Toyota plans to expand Prius c (Aqua) hybrid production image

Japanese automaker Toyota Motor (TMC) will expand production bases for the popular Prius c (Aqua) compact hybrid vehicle after the company received around 120,000 orders in the month after its December launch.

The figure was the second-highest level for Toyota, following a record 180,000 orders for the third-generation Prius hybrid unveiled in May 2009.

Shirane, 59, the head of Toyota Motor East Japan Inc. – the company that actually builds the vehicle suggested the new company will make Aqua not only at Kanto Auto’s Iwate factory but also at other plants, including one in Miyagi Prefecture operated by Central Motor.

The new company initially planned to produce about 500,000 vehicles annually, but that figures would rise if production of the Aqua increases, Shirane added.

The Aqua was rolled out at an opportune time in Japan, as the Japanese government in December decided to reintroduce subsidies for highly fuel-efficient cars.