Either Toyota intentionally downplayed initial numbers or the sluggish economy is not affecting Prius sales as much as the company feared. Whatever the reason, Toyota apparently realized it wasn't building enough Priuses and will increase production to meet demand. When Toyota introduced the car to the U.S. media in March, company officials said that they were predicting sales of 100,000 units in 2009. Well, even before going on sale in Japan in the middle of May, 80,000 people had pre-ordered the world's most popular hybrid - and the car goes on sale in the U.S. very soon. Let's see, 100,000 minus 80,000 leaves 20,000 with seven months to go in 2009. Yeah, I think Toyota will beat its original public estimate. According to Green Car Advisor, Toyota will now make half a million Priuses a year (instead of 400,000) once the car is available in all the markets around the world.
[Source: Green Car Advisor]