• Aug 6th 2009 at 8:26AM
  • 19
2010 Toyota Prius - Click above for high-res image gallery

Toyota has a major hit on its hands with the redesigned 2010 Prius. While that's surely great news for the brand (which is otherwise posting huge sales declines along with nearly every other automaker in the world) it's reportedly exposing the availability of batteries as the biggest bottleneck to production. According to Takahiko Ijichi, Toyota senior managing director:
The new Prius model has been excessively popular, inconveniencing some of our customers, and the factories are working overtime at full capacity... Unfortunately, the batteries are not catching up with demand. Production of the batteries needs to be increased in order for our production to go up.
Panasonic EV Energy, the company that supplies nickel metal hydride batteries to Toyota for the Prius, can produce a maximum of 500,000 packs per year. Plans are in place to expand production capabilities, but that's not going to help eager Prius customers get their new hybrids any faster in the short term.

In related news, Ijichi once again confirmed that Toyota does indeed make money on the Prius, saying, "In terms of the Toyota lineup, I'd say it's probably in the midlevel of profit."

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Part of the problem could be that one of the largest suppliers of raw nickel, Inco. mines in Sudbury, Ontario, is on strike and have been for a while. With 4400 employees not working, that's a lot of nickel not being mined.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Total bullhockey, they are doing their damnest to make their ugly little street walker into the successful, "queen of the ball". It won't work Toyota, sooner or later those knobby knees are going to tell the world, it's got zero class....
        • 6 Years Ago
        Moon.. just curious.. what type of car do you drive?

        I personally like the styling of the 2010 prius. I think it's pretty sharp for what it is.. love the gas mileage. Love that you can get a midsize car with great mileage, nice features and hatchback for about $25,000.

        If you get LESS options, your looking at 20,000 for a smaller Honda Fit.

        I love the fact that your sending LESS money over to the middle east! 160 less gallons of gas imported if you switch from a 30mpg to a 50mpg car. Thats about $400 less in fuel. Yes I know it will take a LONG time to make your money back in just fuel, but knowing that I'm not sending 18yr old kids to Iraq for my oil makes ME sleep better!

        I also try to walk, ride bike, and live less than 2 miles from my job. The proximity of my job makes my life 99% less stressful as I don't waste endless time in traffic and don't have to sit in a car burning fuel for an hour a day!

        I also love corvette's, ferrari's, SUV's etc. But they each have their place! You don't need to make an 8 course meal everyday for dinner, why drive a gas guzzler everyday to work unless your hauling concrete and lumber? Different cars fit different purposes.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Anything that prevents these abortions from being produced is alright by me.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This horrible condom pollute the streets of the world with its presence,a pollution for the eyes and good taste!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I just want to get my, "I hate the Prius," comment in early. Thanks. Now on to the show...

      I frankly love this because it virtually guarantees that dealers are going to jack prices up way over sticker and I'm going to laugh and laugh at the morons willing to plunk down their hard earned dollar to get even LESS of a savings for their fuel frugality.

      Who are the people who are so terrified of carbon footprints and toxic emissions that they actually can be duped into buying these things? I'm 26 and I have no shortage of liberal-minded peers, and even amongst their ranks I can't think of a single one who goes around wringing their hands over global warming.

      Even if the whole situation is twice as bad as the environmental whackos would have us believe, who cares? Make no mistake, people, this planet WILL die one day. Earth is going to warm up one way or the other - whether by our exhaust pipes or thermonuclear detonation so if you want to spend the waning days of humanity puttering along in the right-hand lane, be my guest.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Actually, remy, the environmental movement as been around since long before hybrid technology, or for that matter cars. Karl Benz was granted the first patent for an automobile in 1886, while the British Alkali Acts, intended to regulate air pollution, were enacted in 1863. For as long as there has been industry, there have been those who would inhibit and deny the progress of our society by claiming concern for our planet.

        There are, without a doubt, countries in which hybrids make sound fiscal sense. In Japan, the vast majority of driving, for those who even own a car, is in stop-and-go city traffic and gasoline prices are absurd, not to mention that whatever effects emissions have on the global ecosystem, they certainly are unpleasant for city dwellers navigating the streets on foot.

        Japanese hybrids in this country, though, make no sense whatsoever. They are too expensive to realize a positive ROI within the ownership period of the first buyer, they require a significant output of emissions during transportation from overseas, their fad status results in questionable sales tactics by dealers and the people who buy them are for the most part motivated by a deep-seated need for acceptance by their likeminded peers or a misguided sense of superiority in their often inconsistent and hypocritical defense of the "environment." These are not reasons to purchase a car.

        Europe can laugh themselves silly over their 70mpg diesels (and I, for the record am fully in support of diesel power), but I'm afraid I laugh even harder at their fuel prices. Understand that the reasons these cars are popular there is not because the people have somehow evolved their thinking on a fundamental level to supersede some primitive American concept of motoring bliss - these cars are popular because their socialist governments have heaped tax after tax on them to cripple the traditional automotive industry and thereby create a stifling engineering atmosphere in which auto makers must bow to legislative mandate rather than actual customer wants and needs.

        The error in your reasoning, remy, is that you believe Europeans WANT frugal cars and are being given those products by the car makers, but what you fail to connect is the preceding step where the government lays a burdensome penalty upon the consumer if they fail to comply with the mandate for "greener" vehicles.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Hybrids and the prius were here long before the worldwide "green" crisis, they were technological displays from manufacturers as a midway step to different powertrain, the green shift in the past years just gave them the image and companies are obviously using it as a marketing, and isn't that the obvious thing to do? A hybrid is not worst of a purchase than a sports car or a motorcycle. Any dingbat knows they can save money by buying a used cars or a non hybrid, some care where their money goes, either to petrol companies or car companies. Europe is laughing at us with their 70 MPG + diesel cars, thanks to the American view on Europe and EPA restrictions.

        I own a motorcycle and I like saying how cheap it it to run, then people say yea but you spent 4000$ on it. I say yes I'd rather spend money on a vehicle than gas...at least I get a good resale value.
        • 6 Years Ago
        *thanks to the American view on DIESEL and EPA restrictions.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Prius is looking cute,Beautiful....Toyota make's very good features car.I like Prius.
      Thank you
      • 6 Years Ago
      There are 75 images in that gallery and not a single interior photo? There are only so many ways you can look at the outside of a car before your audience starts drooling -- but we're not doing that because we're in awe of the thing..
        • 6 Years Ago
        You actually bothered to open a photo gallery to look at pictures of a Prius? That's like opening up a photo gallery of Hillary Clinton. It's not worth the click of the mouse.
        • 6 Years Ago
        That car has monkeys butt written all over it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Walking's good for ya!
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