Prius Production Starts in China

Toyota announced the first Prius models to be produced anywhere but Japan have begun rolling off the line at the company's joint-venture plant in Changchun, China. The price of the Chinese-built Prius will cost the equivalent of between $35,000 and $40,000 (depending on trim level), with 3,000 units being planned for sale in 2006. Internet orders are scheduled to start on Dec. 16. Click through for press release.

Press Release

Sichuan FAW Toyota Starts Making Prius in Changchun, China

Tokyo TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION (TMC) announced today that Sichuan FAW Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. (SFTM), a joint vehicle production company established with China FAW Group Corporation (FAW), held a line-off ceremony today for the Toyota Prius hybrid passenger vehicle at SFTM Chanchun Fengyue Co. (an SFTM branch) in Changchun City, Jilin Province, China.
Approximately 350 people attended the event, including local and central government officials, Japanese government officials, media representatives, FAW President Yanfeng Zhu and Vice President Yi Jin, TMC Executive Vice President Yoshimi Inaba and SFTM Chanchun Fengyue Co. President Osamu Oaki.

During the ceremony, Inaba commented by saying, In addition to China s new automobile policy that encourages the use of hybrid vehicles, the introduction of emission regulations on par with those in Europe and the United States is also moving forward. To respond to such government policies as quickly as possible, FAW and TMC came together in deciding to introduce the Prius to the Chinese market. TMC is truly proud that the first-ever production of the Prius outside Japan has begun, and it is my strong wish that the Prius built here in Changchun will contribute to the widespread use of hybrid vehicles in China.

The price of the Chinese-built Prius will be 288,000 and 302,000 Chinese yuan (depending on trim level), with 3,000 units being planned for sale in 2006. Internet orders are scheduled to start on Dec. 16.

In an effort to popularize hybrid vehicles in China, TMC and FAW reached an agreement in September 2004 to locally produce the Prius the first hybrid vehicle to be built in China under China s national hybrid vehicle certification system, which came into effect October 1. Today s event also marked Toyota s first time to produce hybrid vehicles outside Japan.

SFTM is a joint venture between Sichuan Tourer Manufacturing and TMC, and was established in November 1998 as Sichuan Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. (SCTM), in Chengdu City, Sichuan Province. It was re-launched in July as SFTM, following a merger with Changchun FAW Fengyue Auto Co., Ltd. (based in Changchun City), a subsidiary of FAW. At present, SFTM produces the Coaster and Land Cruiser Prado in Chengdu and the Land Cruiser and Prius in Changchun.

Related:
Toyota to Build Camry Hybrid in the US [internal]