Motor Corp. “eventually” will build its popular Prius hybrid-electric vehicle (HEV) outside of Japan, Jim Press, president-Toyota Motor North America, says.
Prius U.S. sales in the last three months have fallen year-on-year, which Press attributes to a lack of supply and a decision to divert HEV parts to its upcoming Camry Hybrid, which begins output at's plant in Georgetown, KY, in October.
U.S. Prius sales are off 11.3% calendar year-to-date, at 30,357 units, according to Ward's data.
“Eventually, we'll have more (HEVs built in North America), but we don't have a plan yet for any particular products beyond (the) Camry,” Press says.
Toyota two years ago began addressing the need for additional production bases for the Prius, which broke the 100,000-unit sales mark in the U.S. last year.
Press reiterates Toyota's policy to build where the company sells. “We continue to explore ways to get more of our production here.”
However, he says no decision has been made on possibly locating a Toyota plant on the Big Three's home turf. Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm continues to campaign for a Toyota assembly plant.