More stories related to 2005 NAIAS DETROIT – Contrary to reports, Toyota Motor Corp. officials says no decision has been made to bring production of hybrid models to the U.S.

“We are currently studying where to do it. There hasn’t been a final decision made (on producing hybrids) in the States,” Dennis Cuneo, senior vice president-external affairs and public policy for Toyota Motor North America Inc., tells Ward’s here at the North American International Auto Show.

“We’re still looking. We haven’t made a final decision. We haven’t decided on the model, but if we do (build a hybrid here) it probably will be in an existing plant,” he says.

Toyota announced last year it was increasing production volume for the hot-selling Prius by 50% to meet consumer demand. The vehicle currently is built in Japan.

A joint venture with Chinese auto maker First Automotive Works to build the Prius in China is on tap for this fall, but Cuneo says none of the output of the JV will be slated for the North American market.

cschweinsberg@primediabusiness.com