JAPAN: Japanese-market Toyota Prius can park itself - report
A car that can park itself without the driver having to touch the steering wheel, said by maker Toyota to be a world first, went on sale in Japan on Monday, Reuters reported.
The new hybrid petrol-electric Prius sedan uses electrically operated power steering and sensors that help guide the car when reversing into parking spaces, the report said.
Reuters said Toyota president Fujio Cho sat in the driver's seat at a demonstration laid on for the press, surprising reporters by holding his hands up as the car quickly parked itself.
"I forgot to put on the brake," Cho reportedly said, adding: "But it's easy."
According to Reuters, Toyota said it expects to sell 76,000 new Prius worldwide in 2004, counting on growing demand for environment-friendly cars.
The sales target is more than double the annual figure for the Prius for the past two years of around 28,000 units - Toyota has sold about 120,000 of the cars since its launch in December 1997, Reuters said.
"Development of eco-friendly cars is a key to our future growth strategy," Cho said, according to Reuters, adding that Toyota aims to sell 36,000 units at home, 35,000-36,000 in the United States and 4,000-5,000 in the rest of the world next year.
The news agency said the new model sells for 2.15 million yen (£11,700; $US18,430) in Japan, against 2.18 million yen previously and the intelligent park assist system is offered as an option, at an additional cost of 230,000 yen which includes a DVD navigation system.
Toyota has set itself a goal of producing 300,000 of the eco-friendly hybrid vehicles a year by 2005 or 2006, Reuters noted.
Japan's vehicle manufacturers are experiencing a sharp slowdown in earnings growth in the current fiscal year due to adverse currency valuations, rising raw material and energy costs and higher intere...
Toyota has launched a new brand advertising campaign in Australia designed to reinforce the company's position at the cutting edge of technological innovation in the car industry....
Prime-TASS News reports that Toyota Motor Corporation, the St Petersburg city government and the Russian Economic Development and Trade Ministry are to sign a memorandum of intent on the construction ...
Michigan State Governor Jennifer M. Granholm joined state, local, and company leaders in Ann Arbor today to announce that Tokyo-based Toyota Motor Corporation plans to invest $150 million in a new, st...
The Bangkok Post reports that although car companies are supporting the government's campaign by urging motorists to switch from conventional gasoline - benzene - to gasohol (which is 10% ethanol), mo...
Toyota's Corolla was the best-selling passenger car in Japan's new vehicle sales in fiscal 2004 that ended in March 2005, retaining the top spot for the past two years, the Japan Automobile Dealers As...
Electrically operated parking brakes are starting to replace mechanical systems, which have gone largely unchanged since the 1940s....
Toyota has chosen the UK as the location for a new, £11.2 million production training centre....
- ANALYSIS: VW Group - success and succession
- ANALYSIS: Depressed Thai market forces rethink
- THE WEEK THAT WAS: Chinese scoop up Pirelli
- Q&A with Victrex
- ANALYSIS: UK supplier industry perks up
- Jaguar unveils second generation XF in London
- Jaguar Land Rover announces Whitley R&D expansion
- New York show debuts: Scion iA added
- EU 2021 CO2 targets will be difficult for premiums
- Tata's Jaguar Land Rover announces GBP 600m spend