Toyota Motor Thailand has started Prius production at its Gateway plant in Chachoengsao province.

The plant is to produce around 12,000 units annually, with sales to begin on 30 November, priced from THB1,190,000 to THB1,270,000.

TMT president Kyoichi 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 version 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 2m units at the end of September this year.

The automaker has sold 733,251 third generation Prius since its launch in mid-2009.