With both the fastest growing car market and five of the ten most polluted cities in the world, China would seem to be an ideal place for Toyota's Prius. That's what the automaker is counting on, at any rate. The company announced today that it has begun selling its half-moon shaped hybrids with local joint venture partner, FAW.

Produced in the north-eastern Chinese city of Changchun, the Prius will base for under $36,000, with Toyota hoping to sell some 3,000 units in 2006. The factory will be the first plant to build the Prius outside of Japan. Both General Motors and Volkswagen have stated their intentions to pursue manufacturing hybrid cars China, but Toyota is the first to have a factory come on-line.

Internet order books for the Chinese Prius open today.

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