When we last asked Toyota representatives about the production capacity of the 2012 Prius C, we were told the company's Iwate, Japan plant could make up to 30,000 units each month. That sounds like a lot, but Toyota is currently sending just 20 percent – 6,000 a month – to the United States.

Back in December, when the car went on sale in Japan, the company received 120,000 orders in the first five days it was on sale. As we noted last week, Toyota also sold 1,200 Prius C units in the first three days it was on sale in the States. The baby Prius may not be as popular here as it is at home, but 6,000 a month sure doesn't seem like it's enough.

The C is made at just one plant, run by Toyota's Kanto Auto Works Ltd. affiliate in northern Japan. A strong yen and all those Japanese orders means that the C models that do get made are mostly delivered to the home country instead of be placed on a boat to be exported. Toyota originally planned to produce just 20,000 C models a month, and is now looking at how to go over even the 30,000-unit level.

By increasing efficiencies at the plant and moving production of non-Prius C models (specifically, the not-available-in-the-U.S. Toyota Ractis) from Iwate to other plants, the unspecified increase should be in place by the middle of 2012. Thus far, there is no official talk about making the C at other plants.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 65 Comments
      Susan
      • 2 Years Ago
      Oh, and have had a Focus in the past - could have bought one a lot cheaper than the Prius - but no where near the gas mileage or resale value of the Prius.
      miketim1
      • 2 Years Ago
      I saw this car yesterday downtown in this extact same color.. Im sorry but its looks good in person
      Ian
      • 2 Years Ago
      There must be so many dull and boring people out there... Go buy a real car instead of this rubbish.
        Drakkon
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ian
        A Chrysler exec said, if you like your SUV now, you'll like it even better when it gets 40mpg. Something has to push the technology forward. It won't be yester-tech. Answer me this, how long have you had a cell phone not bolted to your car floor?
        scottydanger
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ian
        Great generalization and logic Ian . . . you must have paid excellent attention in college. Should I go buy another 9MPG Jeep to show everyone (who I don't even know) just how active, exciting, and interesting I am?
        tvelt92
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ian
        Ok, enjoy filling your sports car up every week when gas in $5.00 a gallon. Nothing wrong with buying one of these to commute to work during the week.
          Ian
          • 2 Years Ago
          @tvelt92
          I don't live in the USA but dull tree hugger's still buy these dull Hybrids in Australia. Our fuel is more expensive here than the US but I don't consider it to be to expensive. I have a 4WD that costs over $300 to fill from nearly empty and I have no issues with that either. I also own a Mini Cooper Diesel that uses less fuel than most Hybrids but is so much more fun to drive than a dull Toyota tree hugger piece of junk.
          BB79826
          • 2 Years Ago
          @tvelt92
          Ian -- you have a little too much rage over an unassuming car. Go box a kangaroo or something.
          Jim
          • 2 Years Ago
          @tvelt92
          No, diesel aren't the answer. I may get down voted for saying this.... I think modern diesel engines are overrated. They're very expensive to own and they don't have the reliability and longevity of older diesel engines. Ian, I can understand Americans buying diesels simply because they know the diesels vehicles sold here are more fun to drive, but I don't understand why they think it'll save them money. I can't speak about the cars you have in Australia, just what we have here in the U.S. The cheapest diesel vehicle sold in the U.S. is the VW Jetta TDI. Its starting price is over $22,000 and it's rated at 30/42 mpg. The Prius C is under $19,000 and its combined, COMBINED mileage (50 mpg) is better than the TDI's highest rating of 42 mpg highway. If that isn't enough, diesel is more expensive for much of the U.S. I pay about $4.35 for regular, about $4.65+ for diesel here in southern California. Hybrids may not be what's best for all people, but they can be good for some people. I wish I could say the same for diesels. If you just don't want a Hybrid, I don't understand why someone wouldn't just buy much cheaper 40 mpg Elantra, Civic HF or Focus SFE instead of a Jetta or Golf TDI. Is it worth spending thousands more on a diesel for a couple more miles a gallon? And think about maintenance and repairs. You think hybrid batteries are expensive? Diesels are more complicated and will be much more expensive in almost every other way. Injectors, the exhaust system, turbocharging (I believe all diesel passenger cars sold in the US are turbocharged?) cooling systems, all the EPA crap that's on the car! It's VERY, VERY expensive to own a diesel. Okay, the Prius C....Less money + better mileage than any diesel sold in the United States...How are we being conned? And If you're going to tell me long stories about your diesel vehicles and what you think I'm missing out on, you don't need to. I've owned diesels.
          Jesus!
          • 2 Years Ago
          @tvelt92
          Like I said above, good fuel economy does not have to mean driving the ugly around. Fusion and Focus both look good in regular and Hybrid forms. No thanks on this!
          Jesus!
          • 2 Years Ago
          @tvelt92
          Like I said above, good fuel economy does not have to mean driving the ugly around. Fusion and Focus both look good in regular and Hybrid forms. No thanks on this!
        Jesus!
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ian
        Ian...fanbois out in full force defending this ugly turd.
      usbseawolf2000
      • 2 Years Ago
      It has no belt, no chain, no starter, no alternator, no power steering fluid and no mechanical transmission. It has electric CVT (computer controlled torque adjustment using two electric motors). Maintenance is simple: - Replace Engine Oil and Filter every 10,000 miles (1 year). - Replace Cabin and Engine air filters every 30,000 miles (3 years). - Replace Engine Coolant at 100,000 miles (10 years). Replace every 50,000 miles (5 years) thereafter. - Replace Spark Plugs every 120,000 miles (12 years). - Replace Inverter Coolant at 150,000 miles (15 years). Replace every 50,000 miles (5 years) thereafter. There is brake fluid but it does not require maintenance. The brake pads/shoes should last the life time of the car as well, due to regen brakes.
        rem
        • 2 Years Ago
        @usbseawolf2000
        Did Toyota do something to make the brake fluid not require maintenance or are they just saying it doesn't need to be changed?
          usbseawolf2000
          • 2 Years Ago
          @rem
          It doesn't need to be changed. Not in the maintenance schedule. My Prius has 158k miles and brake fluid is still clear. Still on the original pads and rotors.
        oollyoumn
        • 2 Years Ago
        @usbseawolf2000
        I believe there is a timing chain, but it is maintenance free. I've owned a gen3 Prius for nearly 3 years. They are very quiet smooth and low maintenance. I didn't know until about 2 years of age that oil was good for 10k mi. It's not clear in the manual. I have a very diverse record of car ownership. Many brands made in 8 different countries. The Prius may not be the most fun, but it has been the least hassle and least annoying I've owned. Strangely, it is also the one that gets the most positive comments from passengers. I frequently get comment on how quiet and smooth it is.
        regionrat
        • 2 Years Ago
        @usbseawolf2000
        Is all of that true? I'm kinda surprised I didn't know most of that. And regen brakes last longer? How's that?
          rem
          • 2 Years Ago
          @regionrat
          Regenerative brakes use the drive-motor to generate voltage to recharge the battery. Just like any electric generator, this applies drag, which is used to stop the car. The size of the motor / generator limits how much drag can be applied, which is substantially less than a conventional system's max braking force, so under hard braking, the conventional brake system kicks in - but that's the only time the convential brakes wear. Much of the light braking can be taken care of with the drive-motor.
          wilkegm
          • 2 Years Ago
          @regionrat
          At least in theory, brakes on a hybrid last longer, because they're only used when you require more deceleration than the re-gen can provide. If driven sensibly, its not inconceivable that the brakes should last 2-3 times longer than a conventional vehicle. @usbseawolf2000- if you're only planning to drive 10k a year, a full hybrid is a waste of resources.
        oollyoumn
        • 2 Years Ago
        @usbseawolf2000
        Second try on this post. I believe there is a timing chain, but it is maintenance free.
      Matthew Brown
      • 2 Years Ago
      I just find the interior materials (cloth / plastic) to be so low-end. Reminds me of a late'90's Honda Civic. Doors sound like tin cans. http://www.wulfoutdoorsports.com
      Hazdaz
      • 2 Years Ago
      More power to them for coming out with a hybrid car that gets somewhere around 50 MPG and yet costs just under $20k. If more carmakers followed Toyota's lead, they too might be in this "terrible" predicament of trying to find where to build another 100+k units for a hot selling model.
      BUY AMERICAN MADE!
      • 2 Years Ago
      Yay, more hybrid ToyTURDS!! The real world mileage of this thing will be a a big fat fail. You'd think people would've learned that the regular PriOS doesn't get the mileage they say. How could people be dumb enough to believe this will be any better? If you want to save gas, get a Focus or Cruze. Their real world mileage is just as good without all that unsafe battery crap that could explode. AND IT'S AMERICAN MADE!
        jim
        • 2 Years Ago
        @BUY AMERICAN MADE!
        I have a 2008 Prius and am getting 48 to 50 mpg.
        Mo and Deb
        • 2 Years Ago
        @BUY AMERICAN MADE!
        I'm not sure what you are basing your opinion on, but from personal experience plus knowing many other Prius owners you are off base. I am on my second Prius and with both the lowest mileage I have had was 49 mpg. I usually stay around 51 mpg except when I am in higher elevations when it stays around 56 mpg. In the years that I have been a Prius I have never had any type of mechanical/battery problem. This vehicle is extremely comfortable for 2 for longer trips and 4 when just tooling around. I have been in a friends Focus and even though I am 5'3" my knees were rammed in the glovebox. We took a 3 week car trip recently and had plenty room for lots of luggage and goodies. We also own 2 Ford trucks. Our F350 Diesel truck which has 38,000 miles has had 2 new turbo's and one brand new engine replaced in the past 10 months.
        Jason Allen
        • 2 Years Ago
        @BUY AMERICAN MADE!
        Batteries don't EXPLODE you uneducated moron! I've never owned a prius but I know they are easily capable of achieving the estimated mileage stated by Toyota. Yes, those two (2) cars you mention are quite good but not as high as prius' mpg's. You make hating Americans so easy for people who their brains, please change your name to the picture of a full of #2 diaper. :)
      Polly Prissy Pants
      • 2 Years Ago
      That dashboard is 1970s funkarific.
      ctsmith1066
      • 2 Years Ago
      I actually just saw my first one on the road today. Looks pretty nice.
      Will Massenburg
      • 2 Years Ago
      With gas at $4.45 in the DC metro area.. and $5/gallon gas expected this summer. I wouldnt be surprised if I picked up one of these myself as a daily driver. $20K for a brand new 50mpg combined driving car? That is from one of the most reliable manufacters in the business, comes with an awesome warranty/maintenance package and should be super useful with 4 doors and a hatchback. What's not to like? I currently own 3 vehicles. All big hp V8's and life is no fun for me. I'll gladly trade 2 of the 3, for something much smaller and economical like this. Toyota has a winner on their hands, I cant believe they werent smart enough to also build here in the US. As demand will be off the charts for vehicles just like this from people just like me.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      chasegarcia
      • 2 Years Ago
      I can't wait to see this and the FR-S on the road.
    • Load More Comments