• Apr 1, 2011
2010 Toyota Prius – Click above for high-res image gallery

The Japan earthquake and tsunami has left the vast majority of Japanese auto plants without parts or power at least temporarily, and the good folks of California are beginning to feel the pinch. The Los Angeles Times reports that the Toyota Prius is in very short supply in The Golden State, leading many car buyers to move up their purchases in fear of not being able to get their precious hybrid at a later date.

It's no surprise California would feel the pinch of limited Prius inventory first, as the state is the largest market for the ultra-efficient hatch. Many dealers have less than a two week supply, while others have zero models in stock. Meanwhile, Toyota restarted the Prius plant late last week in an effort to keep the popular hybrids flowing to the U.S. and around the world. But for the short term, the automaker is running the line at about half its normal pace, and the plant was shut down on Wednesday to gauge parts availability.

Given the fact that the Prius plant is one of the only Japanese facilities even up and running right now, California dealers will likely continue to see a trickle of new models hitting their showrooms. In the short term, the Prius supply issue could actually deteriorate, with May inventories looking worse than April. Just as big a concern is the fact that other plants still haven't begun producing vehicles, which means that the situation playing out in California with the Prius could soon affect many Japanese autos in dealerships around the world.



[Source: Los Angeles Times]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 33 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      Who cares. Maybe now people who wouldn't have considered anything but a Prius will see that there are better alternatives out there.

      Fusion Hybrid >>>> Pruis

        • 3 Years Ago
        The Fusion uses the Prius' hybrid technology, Ford signed a deal to use Toyota's hybrid tech years ago (2004 I think).
        • 3 Years Ago
        Prius $ > Fusion Hybrid $....

        but maybe that'll be different now.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @tim.. are you sure about that buddy? im 100% sure that the Fusion hybrid doesnt use the same system as the Prius or any other Toyota hybrid.. please do ur research!!
        • 3 Years Ago
        Yeah, it is definitely not the same.

        I attended a Ford press event in June/July '09 where they showcased the Ecoboost technologies and announced the four cylinder Ecoboost. They also had a couple of their hybrid technology engineers there and they had the two systems in their raw form side by side showing that they were completely different. They went on to explain how different they were from each other.

        Not the same system.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I am sure Clarkson is really choked up about this
      • 3 Years Ago
      Well the prius sucks so this is good news. Too bad its april fools.
      • 3 Years Ago
      obvious arpil fools is obvious
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think the US market 3rd generation Prius should have been built at the NUMMI plant Toyota closed down. That would have saved all those jobs and put the factory closest to the largest Prius market.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I agree. With the sales volume in the U.S, there is no justification for not producing the Prius in the U.S (or Canada). Even if they have to ship the battery pack from Japan (initially), it makes sense as it cuts the lead time from Assembly to dealership.

        I guess what Toyota really wanted was to get rid of a UAW-run plant in a high-cost State (California). Notice how they build all their factories in right-of-work States and especifically in the South where costs are lower than in California and the State and Local government throws in hundreds of millions of dollars in incentives.
      • 3 Years Ago
      They can have all the Canadian models. We don't buy them anyway.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Darn... What ever shall I do now? Oh, right... The same thing I was going to do anyway.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Wait for the Model S?
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm really upset about this..... NOT.
      • 3 Years Ago
      prii (priuses?) are going off the lots so fast, they couldn't stop them if they fully applied the brakes.




      haha.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Supply and demand folks. People love the Prius.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Oh well. Put a down payment on a Tesla S and drive a beater in the meantime. Or if you got it, grab a Tesla or Tango.
        • 3 Years Ago
        He is a poster here, he bashed cars with any form of technology, from Nav to Hybrids. He is for simple cars, with as little innovations as possible.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Wtf is a "simple car"?
        • 3 Years Ago
        I'm starting to like Simple Car. Lotus all the way. To this day, I hate dealing with all the damned electronannies in my car. I just wanted a simpler sports sedan.

        Priuses (Prium, Prii?) not only manage to look stupid, but what the hell are you to do when your fancy-schmancy batteries die? How many people can ACTUALLY service their own hybrids? If we were forced to buy green cars, it's Tesla or a diesel all the way. When fuel is expensive, stick with your Prius, I'll get a 70 mpg VW hatch. But at least in a Tesla, there's only an electric system. I don't wanna mess with gas AND electric.

        • 3 Years Ago
        I know who you are, you are Simple Car's evil twin.

        Whatever happened to him, i have not seen him here in a while.
        • 3 Years Ago
        It's also a horribly heavy way to make power. Heavy = unsafe. Heavy = wasteful. Heavy = poorly performing. And I, personally, don't want to only be able to fuel up at home. I like my road trips, and I love 1000 mile days.

        Electric drive is a great tool. But it's not the only solution to every problem, and it's not without its downsides. I think the reason that electric drive pushers get razzed so much around here is that they never seem to recognize that fact. Presenting a more balanced argument goes over a lot better (when talking about electric vehicles, definitely not with everything).
        • 3 Years Ago
        @QAZZY

        "I just wanted a simpler sports sedan."

        Don't we all!!

        I love my car, but can't stand all of the little beeps to let you know your seatbelt is not fastened, or your door is open, and so on. I suspect all of that crap is mandated to "keep us safe" though. On something like this Prius it's fine, but on a Mustang GT, it seems kind of wimpy I know.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I like "simple cars" too if thats what you want to call them, probably not to that extreme, but i guess i just don't like "bloatware". It just seems a lot of people on here are blinded by Big Oil. Its not that hard to see that an electric motor uses no gas, gobs of torque, and can fueled at home. I like my Zondas, Lambos, Ferraris, and Astons as much as the next autoblogger. But come on, its not that hard to see that the electric motor is clearly more simple, less maintenance, and has instant torque.
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