Toyota Prius Prices Released for Japan

And the battle begins... Following a wave of some 80,000 orders, Japanese manufacturer Toyota has announced the prices for its third generation Prius. The hybrid will battle Honda's insight at a starting price of 2.05 million yen ($21,400), 300,000 yen cheaper ($3,100) than the current generation Prius, but still over Insight's 1.89 million yen ($19,700).

"Even before sales began, we have already received more than 80,000 orders [for the new Prius] so we have been able to make a start exceeding our expectations,'' Toyota' future president. currently executive vice president Akio Toyoda said in Tokyo.

The manufacturer, who posted an operating loss of $4.74 billion for fiscal year 2008, plans on selling 10,000 units a month in Japan, up to a total of 300,000-400,000 units of the entire Prius range, Kyodo News via reported.

The new Prius will become available in North America and Asia this month, with deliveries in Europe set to begin in June. The third generation Prius will eventually expand to 80 countries worldwide, double the size of the current Prius.

"We have been able to bring the starting price closer to a price that customers would really feel they want to pay,'' Toyoda said. ''I'm very relieved we made it in time.''

With some government tax measures already in place, the price for the Prius can be lowered by as much as 220,000 yen ($2,300), but this won't help Toyota much in its battle with Honda, as its' Insight is subject to the same tax breaks.

Honda on the other hand doesn't fear the price battle, as it is only meant to increase the market presence on the hybrids, as Honda executive vice president Koichi Kondo said in April.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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