Rumors that Toyota would some day build the Prius in the U.S. have bounced around for years, with a location in Mississippi often being cited as the most likely candidate. After that plan was officially scrapped in 2008, a new version of the same story returned in 2010 when a Toyota executive vice president said Mississippi Prius production could start up in 2016. Given the on-again, off-again history of the story, we weren't surprised when not much was officially said about the matter in the last two years. That changed today.

Koei Saga, senior managing officer in charge of drivetrain R&D at Toyota, has informed Automotive News that Toyota is now thinking of making the Prius in the U.S. by 2015 and wants to get hybrid drivetrain components – motors, inverters, batteries (likely lithium-ion packs) – from North American suppliers. The base fourth-gen Prius will probably still use nickel-metal hydride batteries, but the batteries made in the U.S. might be li-ion.

A 2015 timetable means it is likely that America would make the fourth-gen Prius model, which is due around that time. The reason this story keeps coming back is because it makes sense to build the Prius in the States. Sales are strong here and expected to grow, so extra production somewhere will almost certainly be needed to meet demand. Plus, a strong yen means that Prius vehicles built in America would likely come at a lower cost to Toyota.

Toyota currently makes the Camry hybrid in the U.S. at its plant in Georgetown, KY. The question as to whether the U.S. Prius would be made there, at Toyota's Mississippi plant, at the Tesla plant in Fremont, CA (formerly known as NUMMI) – where rumors about Toyota and the electric car automaker building electric cars like the RAV4 EV have also floated around in the past – or somewhere else completely will need to be answered at another time.


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
  • 57 Comments
      Dennis Faulkner
      • 2 Years Ago
      This should be interesting - will California legislators get their heads out of their asses and encourage businesses like this to be in California - or will we tax them to death, driving them out to other states instead? Together with high electrical rates, high water rates (because of excessive pensions in our area) - Will California ever get a brain? Or will it keep killing the golden goose forever? Don't hold your breath folks -
      Frederick Estes
      • 2 Years Ago
      waldorae that's what is wrong with all these Japanese car plant's in the USA they need to be UNION!!!!
      tomatoflight
      • 2 Years Ago
      USD/JPY rates are used as an excuse to build every Japanese car outside of Japan.
      jameskosco
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wonder how many tens of millions of US tax dollars from Missisippi will go straight to this wealthy Japanese comapany so Americans working for American companies can loose their jobs. The leaders of these states who are putting our country out of business and in trillions of debt should be tried for treason. How many Japanese tax dollars have been given to US companies who transplanted there? These politicians are lining their pockets with dirty money. Big Brother is no longer looking out for his siblings, he is feeding the Asians their lunch.
        Neal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jameskosco
        Amen James, people who buy foriegn vehicles have not a clue as to how much money is going over seas.....built in America or not.....the Japanese are making the money not us.....it's like the workers who build those vehicles work for Japan and not America....buy American....the more American made stuff bought here in this country....the better they'll have to build their vehicles....stop buy foriegn made mess!!!
          xmindphazerx
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Neal
          Here's a thought: Maybe Americans should build vehicles that don't suck? Might work.
          KBergy74
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Neal
          Steve you need to understand that the profits go to the Japanese government. How do you not have an issue with that? Toyota certainly will not help our government in a war. It's too bad that the patriotism in our country has gone way down.
      joe
      • 2 Years Ago
      Toyota give it up! your Junk! and always will be any loser who would buy one after all the deaths from recalls should have there head checked Toyota owners are prob the same scum the would buy BP gas after the deaths of all that wild life.....Toyota moving backwards!!!!!!!! #1 recalled car 3 years in a row! good job guys!
        Neal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @joe
        Amen Joe, people who buy foriegn vehicles have not a clue as to how much money is going over seas.....built in America or not.....the Japanese are making the money not us.....it's like the workers who build those vehicles work for Japan and not America....buy American....the more American made stuff bought here in this country....the better they'll have to build their vehicles....stop buy foriegn made mess!!!
          - v o c t u s -
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Neal
          do the workers who build those vehicles live in Japan or America? Where are they going to spend their paychecks? That's what matters.
      protovici
      • 2 Years Ago
      Come on hippies. Buy these up so I can use your portion of fossil fuels with a cheaper rate! Let's go tree hugger!
      Susan
      • 2 Years Ago
      SOMEBODY should be building cars here. Buy Toyota, American made :) Love my Toyota.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Susan
        [blocked]
          evthedodgeman
          • 2 Years Ago
          Tundra has had nothen but problem's, and it is one ugly looking peace of crap
      mkspw
      • 2 Years Ago
      Toyota quality has went down hill the last 10 years. We have owned several and the quality is not what it used to be.
      Helen and Al
      • 2 Years Ago
      We are enjoying our 2012 Prius V. The gas mileage is wonderful from 40 mpg. to 47 mpg. around town.
      waldorae
      • 2 Years Ago
      They are GREAT cars. I am glad they will be made in America. I hope they do not go UNION!!!!!!!!!!!.
      Orlando
      • 2 Years Ago
      If it's built in the Fremont CA plant, I won't even consider buying it. The other two plants, I'll be first in line!!
      georgementor
      • 2 Years Ago
      Iwould rather buy a TOYOTA MADE HERE THAN A FORD MADE IN MEXICO. FORD FUSION AND HALF THE F150 TRUCKS ARE MADE IN MEXICO
    • Load More Comments