Apparently, the Honda Insight isn't the only new hybrid stimulating strong early demand in Japan. Toyota is responding to over 40,000 orders received in the first three weeks of April for the 2010 Prius by increasing production rates. Toyota had originally forecast about 300,000 sales for 2009, but has now increased that to 500,000 worldwide. Prius production was originally scheduled for 40,000 units per month for the rest of this year, but rate will now go to 50,000 per month starting in June. Toyota expects pre-orders in Japan to hit between 60,000 and 70,000 by the time deliveries start. In fiscal 2008, which ended March 31, Toyota sold only 70,618 Priuses in Japan.
[Source: Nikkei via Green Car Congress]