• Jun 15, 2009
2010 Toyota Prius - Click above for high-res image gallery

Auto sales are down – that's not exactly a surprise to anyone anymore. But Toyota has revived a little something from last summer called a wait list – for people who are interested in buying a new 2010 Prius. According to a story in The New York Times, Toyota is running its Prius production plants in Japan 24 hours a day and offering overtime to workers – even bringing in workers from other areas of the country – to meet demand for the hybrid car. Panasonic EV Energy, the Prius' battery supplier, is also working constantly to keep churning out packs for the model.

This is the effect of those higher-than-expected sales numbers. The NYT says that the waiting list is "several months" long in Japan. While impressive considering the marketplace, Toyota is still warning that 2009 will not be a profitable year for the company.



[Source: The New York Times]


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  • 87 Comments
      Gary
      • 5 Years Ago
      The hybrid cars are a long-awaited and long-overdue efficiency concept, but the technology is still in its infancy, they're being tested for their worth. Where will these things be in 10 years or so? and will any of them reach 100,000 miles without bankrupting their owner for their upkeep? I doubt it. I dont give a damn about "green", the United States interstae highway system was bult for countless billions of dollars for American cars to travel. Has anyone yet tried to drive one of these sardine-can kiddie toys LA to New York without breaking down or simply not working at all? Again, I doubt it. They have the technology, why can't they put the hybrid powertrain in a real car Like a Cadillac or Buick, or even in a truck, made for hauling goods? I'll much prefer to buy an American-built car that hold 6 adults, gets 10 mpg, and will run 100,000 miles with minimum mtce, instead of a crackerbox toy that will fold up like tissue paper in a crash, but gets 30+ mpg and will biodegrade in 5 or 6 years. My ex-wife stands 4' 10", she owned a Chevy Geo, perfect for her. I stand 6' 1": and couldn't even get my knees to fit inside the door!! C'mon Big 3: start making REAL cars again!
      Gary
      • 5 Years Ago
      Japan, Inc. or Japmerica? in the '80s was a GM Chevrolet plant in Fremont, California, that entered into an agreement with Toyota to builf the Japmobiles on the same assembly lines as the Chevys. 2 years later the Chevys were history, Toyotas were the only product rolling out of that plant. Japco even BOUGHT the entire plant from GM to give us "made in America" Toyotas. What a horrid oxymoron!
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Gary
        more stupid.
      Motor City Gal
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hello, Fellow Americans! Why would ANYONE buy a Toyota at this time? We should all be buying products made in the USA, from light bulbs to Automobiles. How many more people need to loose their jobs before Americans realize the seriousness of the down-fall of the Big3? Living in Metro Detroit, every single day I meet someone else who has either lost their job permanently or are on an indefinite lay-off. It isn't just the auto workers that are hurting, it is affecting everyone, people no longer have medical benefits, therefore they can't go to the dr, so the staff is being reduced. The daycares no longer have children to fill the classrooms since the parents are home and no longer working. The cities are hurting because of all the foreclosed homes, they are no longer getting the much needed money for city services such as Fire & Police. This is a very scarey time for all of us, no matter where you live or what profession you are in. Please Buy American, if you start reading labels, I assure you that you will be shocked at the volume of imported goods you buy. There is nothing that we can't make or build here, not to mention there would be a sense of pride, not to mention that we wouldn't have to worry about lead in our childrens toys or arsenic in our pet's food. BUY PRODUCTS MADE IN THE USA!
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Motor City Gal
        I understand the plight, but the Big 3 has perpetuated a lot of its own problems.

        Try pricing out a new car lately? If you're looking for a hybrid, Honda's comes in the cheapest with the 2nd highest gas mileage on the market. Toyota comes in 2nd cheapest with the highest gas mileage available (not to mention a fantastic resale value and great safety ratings). The closest American hybrid is the Ford Focus Hybrid whose base model costs about $4000 more than a Prius and averages 7-10 less mpg. Just because some Americans still have jobs doesn't mean they've got an extra 4 grand lying around to pay for the priviledge of "buying American."

        From the worker's side, I work with a lot of the unions and many of the auto unions have been completely unreasonable. They refuse to give up raises or certain benefits at the expense of the jobs of many of their union bretheren. Our union members actually agreed to take 1 day off a week UNPAID so that they didn't have to fire anyone when business got bad.

        Toyota, trying to be competitive with the Insight (base model priced around $20,000) actually dropped the price of the 2010 Prius to lower than what they were selling the 2009 models for. What they will lose per unit, they may make up in volume. The point being: they are making the effort to succeed long-term by taking a short-term loss instead of pining about trying to play on patriotic sympathy to increase business. I am an American and I believe in this country, but just because I love my country doesn't mean I necessary like the things it does. The American auto industry needs to swallow its pride and rethink their business model if they ever plan to be competitive in the global market again.
        Dean
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Motor City Gal
        Toyotas aren't made in the USA? I wonder what that massive plant is 60 miles away from me in Georgetown, KY pumping millions of dollars into the local economy?

        Yes I know the Prius is currently assembled in Japan, and when the economy gets moving again, where will they build those? Mississippi...
      • 5 Years Ago
      I've been on the Prius wait list for years. I'm waiting for one that doesn't hurt my eyes.

      bi dat bump.
      mike
      • 5 Years Ago
      Prius owners are pansies
      • 5 Years Ago
      The prius is just so damn boring to drive. The handling on those skinny little tires with all the excess weight is horrible, and the low power makes it a miserable experience just trying to keep up with traffic.
      I despise getting caught behind one at a light because they take soooooo long to get up to speed. Even my Explorer, the slowest vehicle I own, just blows a prius away from a light.
      steve20110
      • 5 Years Ago
      I was with Toyota when Prius first came out. We thought it would be a novelty car. Toyota had the foresight to see they would sell more of them than the Corolla, eventually. The technology was so expensive then that Toyota lost several thousands a car but they invested in the future... Not like American Company's.

      Toyota sells to other manufacturers it's outdated technology. If that doesn't tell you a little something about how far ahead they are nothing will! Force limiters and pre-tensioners in seat belts were Totota's design and patented by them. It was ruled that they were such an important safety feature Toyota had to share it. So they sold that!
        firststatemate
        • 3 Years Ago
        @steve20110
        Amen, steve20110, you said it all. I am 60 years old. I always drove American cars until 2000. After driving my first Honda. I knew I'd never go back to the junk that Ford and Chevy make. I just bought a Toyota Prius because of the mileage-I am in love.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well this will ruin the day for D3 fanboys. They were about to use weak Prius demand as a justification for D3 not making fuel efficient cars people people did not want them.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "weak Prius demand as a justification for D3 not making fuel efficient cars people people did not want them."

        They do make fuel effecient cars, they just don't make a Prius competitor.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "hatred against my faith "---1% of Americans are Hebrews, about 1% are Muslims, the rest are Christians. What hate?
        • 5 Years Ago
        "What hate?"

        I have not mentioned one thing about Christianity or beliefs here and the mere fact I have a Christian avatar has already brought out 3 insulting comments.
        • 5 Years Ago
        SU: You are the one preaching here and prove my point exactly. You know nothing about where I live, where I take my vehicle, or what kind of trailers I pull at yet you feel like you should be telling me what to own. My friend, you are way out of line and should think a little more before hitting the "add comment" button.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The Prius is unique in the fact it has a cult-like following.

        If you look at hybrid sales, in their totality, they are down just like everything else. Your beloved import companies are doing just as rotten as the big 3.





        • 5 Years Ago
        the irony is fantastic that you're mocking people who follow a 'holier than thou' 'cult' of an 'automotive messiah,' and you're some sort of super christian who has crosses and lightning in his profile pic and has 'redeemer' as his username.

        you make me laugh. if matrix were here, he'd laugh too.

        • 5 Years Ago
        "just as the Hummer is the symbol of hatred among environmentalists, the Prius is the champion of their cause. Because the Prius was the first completely uniquely styled hybrid vehicle, it was easy to identify "Prius" with "hybrid". Also, the timing was perfect for them with the sharp rise in gas prices and growing hatred of the domestic big three."

        Ok, so Toyota found a way to turn arrogance away from mammoth sized, hazardous, ill fitting, gas guzzling SUVs to eco-friendly, less hazardous, more practical for an average person, less blingy car at the "perfect timing" when oil became a crisis in the U.S and that's a BAD THING???? Moreover, that's a CULT??

        What you're describing is not a cult, it's a FAD. No more of a fad than 8 seater SUVs, wood-paneled station wagons, or tail fins were at their respective times. Personally i think it's genius that a car company was able to turn car-snobbish arrogance to something that actually HELPS humanity instead of thwarts it. As for dealing with smugness, nothing has changed.....it's the same image conscious people who were flashing their stretch Escalades at you that at flashing their Priuses at you now! They might still be annoying as hell, but at least their not as dangerous
        • 5 Years Ago
        "or what kind of trailers I pull " I am sure you do, and you need an SUV for that. What i am trying to say is that MOST people to not do these thing, most do not go off road, or tow boats. I see SUVs all the time, most of the time there's one person inside them, doing the same thing a guy in Malibu does....drive.

        SUVs have their place in USA, but not to the extent people have them now.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "And yet your avatar (picture) ha s cross on it, and your name is redeemed"

        Last time I checked I wasn't preaching a turn or burn message on this forum so the fact I am a Christian reader is irrelevant. Yet, I've been told more than once on this forum that I am "irresponsible" for driving an SUV. So who is judging who?
        • 5 Years Ago
        If the Prius is selling so well and months behind, then pray tell why hasn't Toyota re-started work on the Prius plant in Tupelo Mississippi. Toyota hasn't been completely truthful in the past, they aren't completely truthful today and they won't be completely truthful tomorrow. Take what Toyota proclaims with a grain of salt, remember the wonderful quality with no recalls, well we know how that little escapade unfolded. Shell games, shell games, shell games, anything to make the Yota look better than the rest.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ Redeemed and like-minded people

        Get a life!! A Toyota Prius cult? geez. really?

        And AB should stop hating as well. Of course there's a Prius wait list. that's because 1.) Toyota (even if you don't personally like them) is a smart company and focuses on having as little inventory as possible and 2.) The Prius is a car that makes sense at this particular time.

        I'm not a Toyota fan at all, but I can give credit where it's due. The Prius isn't a car-messiah here to save the world from itself, but it is more environmentally sensible than most cars, and if it starts a fad that makes everyone think greener and healthier (for whatever personal reason or ulterior motive), then so be it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "owners with their holier-than-thou "----And yet your avatar (picture) ha s cross on it, and your name is redeemed.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Why did you change your avatar?

        Also, it is irresponsible to drive an SUV. SUVs are meant to go off road, i believe SUVs make up about 50% of all vehicles sold. Now somehow i can bet that 99.999999% of people do not go off road.

        Malibu and other sedans are superior in every way possible to SUVs. More room, more space, better MPG, more fun, lower price.

        Dude i once watched on TV i think in was Israeli army that did mock tank fights. Do you know what they use to simulate a tank? Excursion and other American SUVs. Do you realize how big these vehicles are if they mimic actual battle tanks?

        SUVs pollute, without bringing any positives with it, they provide less room, they roll over...and eat more gas.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "The Prius isn't a car-messiah here to save the world from itself"

        That is where you are wrong. Just as the Hummer is the symbol of hatred among environmentalists, the Prius is the champion of their cause. Because the Prius was the first completely uniquely styled hybrid vehicle, it was easy to identify "Prius" with "hybrid". Also, the timing was perfect for them with the sharp rise in gas prices and growing hatred of the domestic big three.

        Case in point, look at the Hollywood wanna-be environmentalists driving around so they can be seen in a Prius. Same goes for many Prius owners with their holier-than-thou "I care more about the environment than you do" attitude.

        I am not anti fuel economy but I don't like people with their nose stuck in the air looking down at me and telling me how environmental I need to be.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Anyone know what Toyota plans to DO with those many thousands of tons of dangerous environmental waste that worn-out hybrid batteries represent? These batteries contain enourmous amounts of nickel metal hydride compound, a rather nasty caustic salt of nickel. BTW, driving around with a 300 lb+ battery pack amounts to having an extra fully-equipped NFL offensive lineman as permanent passenger.
      • 5 Years Ago
      For a bit more cash, you can buy a Fusion hybrid. Looks better,is more fun to drive and quite reliable as well.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, but the fuel economy is worse. Drop it, the Fusion can't compete.
      Gary
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hybrid, schmybrid! All of these so-called "mini SUVs" are nothing more then copies of their distant progenitor, the NASH RAMBLER AMERICAN STATION WAGON of the 50's and '60s. Fuel efficeint as they may be, the only room in the back seat, (as several posters have mentioned) for little kids or a tag-team of Fillipino midgets! Give me a Detroit-built Great American road tank with room in the back for 3 6' tall men, and I'll consider bying one!
      Loudean
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why not buy the Hybrid Ford or Chevrolet? Let's get rid of the foreign products and buy American!!!
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