Toyota Motor Sales USA said its Prius petrol-electric hybrid sedan will receive an increase in allocation for the US market in 2005 calendar year to 100,000 units annually, approximately double the 2004 calendar year allocation. The announcement coincides with Prius passing the 100,000 sales mark since first going on sale in summer 2000.

“With this significant increase in allocation for 2005, Prius will become one of our top-selling passenger cars as it continues to solidify its position as a mainstream vehicle,” said Don Esmond, TMS senior vice president and general manager. “As a testament to its remarkable popularity here in the US, over one-half of total worldwide Prius production will be targeted for the US market.  We are hopeful that this latest increase will help alleviate the delivery delays many customers have been experiencing.”

Globally, Toyota has sold over a quarter-million hybrid vehicles since the introduction of the first-generation Prius sedan, the world’s first mass-produced hybrid vehicle, in December 1997.  In addition to Prius, Toyota has built hybrid vans, box trucks, small buses and luxury sedans for sale in the Japan domestic market. Toyota will bring two more hybrid vehicles to the US market early next year, with the arrival of the Lexus RX 400h and Toyota Highlander hybrid sport utility vehicles.

The increase in allocation is part of Toyota Motor Corporation’s recent announcement that it would boost monthly production of the Prius from approximately 10,000 units per month to 15,000, in order to meet global demand.  The additional 5,000 units will be built on an existing assembly line at an existing production facility in Japan. The specific location of the plant will be announced at a later date and production will begin in early 2005.

The increased allocation marks the second production increase for the second-generation Prius since it launched in October 2003 in the US. The original production plan for the 2004 model was 36,000 units annually. With 12,000 pre-orders received before the vehicle launched in mid-October 2003 and approximately 10,000 units delivered in its first six weeks on sale, production was increased in December 2003 to 47,000 units annually. With demand continuing to escalate, it became necessary to boost production once again.