Toyota has been scrambling to right its financial ship after cutting its profit forecast by 63% in the face of dismal US auto sales. The Japanese automaker set up an emergency committee to look at areas to cut costs, and all programs are said to be on the table. Though Toyota has announced nothing specific to this point, Japan's Nikkei Business Daily is announcing that the first US-built Priuses may not be produced until 2011. That would mean a one year delay of the opening of Toyota's Mississippi plant, which has already seen a product shift and cost overruns. The new 2010 Prius, which will initially only be built in Japan until the Mississippi plant comes online, is scheduled to be unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show in January.
Toyota is currently denying that Prius production at the Mississippi plant has been delayed. We're a bit skeptical of the Nikkei report anyway considering the Prius is still in high demand despite the economic downturn.