Earlier today, Toyota Motor Corporation held a line-off ceremony at its Gateway Plant to celebrate the start of Prius production in Thailand – marking the first time time that the third-gen Prius will be assembled outside of Japan. The plant is expected to produce up to 12,000 of the best-selling hybrids annually. By tomorrow, the gas-electric vehicles produced at the Gateway facility will hit local dealer lots with price tags ranging from 1,190,000 baht ($39,313 U.S. at the current exchange rate) to 1,270,000 baht ($41,856 U.S.).
Toyota Motor Thailand president, Kyoichi Tanada, attended the line-off ceremony and spoke of the significance of the event:
Back in 1997, Toyota launched the Prius in Japan. Since then, the gas-electric sedan has topped the hybrid sales charts on countless occasions and racked up a cumulative global sales total of two million units and counting.It is indeed a proud moment for us to see Prius production start here at Gateway Plant. This is proof positive of the increasing level of Thai manufacturing on both quality and safety fronts.
Photos copyright ©2009 Sam Abuelsamid / AOL
Toyota Holds Line-off Ceremony for 'Prius' in Thailand
Samutprakan, Thailand, November 29, 2010-Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announces that Toyota Motor Thailand Co., Ltd. (TMT), TMC's sales and production company based here, held a line-off ceremony today at its Gateway Plant in Chachoengsao Province to mark the start of production of the "Prius". The plant is to produce approximately 12,000 units annually, with sales to begin on November 30, priced from 1,190,000 to 1,270,000 baht.
Chachoengsao Vice Governor Bundit Thereethivarak and TMT President Kyoichi Tanada were among the attendees at the ceremony. Tanada said: "It is indeed a proud moment for us to see Prius production start here at Gateway Plant. This is proof positive of the increasing level of Thai manufacturing on both quality and safety fronts."
Thai consumer interest in the environment and energy-saving technologies has been growing, and the start of production and sales of Prius-the first time the third-generation Prius has been produced outside Japan-follows the start of Thai production and sales of the "Camry Hybrid" sedan in 2009.
The Prius, launched in 1997, topped cumulative global sales of 2 million units at the end of September this year.
Toyota, under its founding philosophy of contributing to society through the manufacture of automobiles, will continue to strive to produce vehicles that meet consumers' needs.
Outline of TMT
|Company name||Toyota Motor Thailand Co., Ltd.|
|Equity participation||Toyota Motor Corporation: 86.4%; The Siam Cement Public Company Ltd.: 10.0%; others: 3.6%|
|Plant name||Samrong Plant (including
Thai Auto Works Co., Ltd.)
|Gateway Plant||Ban Pho Plant|
(approx. 15 km south of Bangkok)
(approx. 110 km southeast of Bangkok)
(approx. 65 km southeast of Bangkok)
|Product lineup||Hilux||Camry, Camry Hybrid, Corolla, Prius, Vios, Wish and Yaris||Hilux and Fortuner|
|2009 production results||435,000 units (including CKD production)|
|Number of employees||Approx. 14,800 (as of September 30, 2010)|