Saturday, April 9, 2011

Report: Toyota Prius V launch delayed in Japan due to earthquake

The new-for-2012 Prius V was scheduled to go on sale in Japan at the end of April, but Automotive News reports that production delays stemming from the March 11 earthquake have pushed that date back a bit. In Toyota’s official statement regarding the delay, the company notes plant closings, supply chain issues and damage to Japanese Toyota dealerships as primary reasons.

Japan is slated to get both five- and seven-seat versions of the new Prius MPV. We’ll only be seeing the five-passenger configuration here in the United States, and European markets are scheduled to get the seven-seat Prius. Toyota says that, as of now, the U.S. and European launches of the Prius V are not expected to be delayed.

One of the key reasons for this delay is that one of the plants damaged in the earthquake, operated by Primearth EV Energy Co., supplies batteries for Toyota’s hybrid vehicles. This plant has the capacity to supply enough nickel-metal hydride battery packs for up around 300,000 vehicles annually. With this plant offline, Toyota faces a 27 percent drop in hybrid production. The automaker also receives batteries from plants in Tokyo and Nagoya, which are fully operational.

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]


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