Toyota president Fujio Cho has reportedly said his company may eventually manufacture a hybrid model in the United States.
According to Monday’s Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the redesigned second-generation Prius, which has more power and room than its predecessor, has become a hot seller since Toyota launched the Japanese-made vehicle in the US late last year. “I would say we have to think about building a hybrid in America eventually,” Cho reportedly said late last week in San Francisco.
According to the WSJ he added, however, that there are no active plans and there would be several major hurdles to overcome even if Toyota decided to manufacture a petrol-electric hybrid in the US.
The biggest, Cho reportedly said, would be how to source a host of “very unusual” components and materials for a hybrid’s drive system, such as electric motors and large batteries.
The Wall Street Journal said no one in the US makes many of those components, and Toyota would have to import them from Japan to start building a hybrid vehicle in America.
“It may not make any business sense at all if we brought in too many of those big components from overseas,” Cho reportedly said.
He added that sales of a hybrid would have to hit at least 50,000 to 100,000 vehicles a year to justify production outside Japan.