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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The Toyota Prius is the first mass-produced hybrid vehicle. FAW is producing second generation of the car since December 2005.

The first Prius has rolled off an assembly line in China and Toyota hopes to sell 3,000 of the hybrids there next year.
Toyota is making the Prius with its Chinese joint venture partner FAW, China's biggest automaker. FAW already works with Toyota to build both sedans and SUVs. The Prius will be made in Changchun in northeastern China. The model is no bargain by U.S. standards with a price of between $35,000-$37,000 in China.
China is the world's fastest growing car market but also has five of the ten most polluted cities in the world. Toyota vice-president Yoshimi Inaba said hybrid cars like the Prius could help China deal with its environmental and energy shortage problems. "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."




 

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Toyota slashes cost of Prius in China to reverse flat sales.

TOYOTA Motor Corp has cut the price of its Chinese-made Prius hybrid car by up to eight percent to help reverse flat sales.

The move will help Toyota strengthen its market position in China's green car market amid coming challenges from General Motors Corp and Honda, analysts said.

The Prius hybrid now costs 259,800 yuan (US$36,500), compared with 282,200 yuan before, FAW Toyota said yesterday. Its flagship model has also cut its price by 22,200 yuan to 279,800 yuan.

Prius is the world's first mass-produced hybrid car powered by fuel and electricity. The sedan has sold more than 920,000 worldwide by the end of last year since its debut in 1997.

This is Toyota's first price cut on Prius cars since Chinese production began in 2005 in its joint venture with First Automotive Works Group.

An official from FAW Toyota said matured technology had helped to lower production costs.

"The price reduction will help increase competitiveness and boost sales of the eco-friendly model," he said, adding that the Chinese market has been slow to accept the hybrid cars.

The high price and maintenance cost has been the main problem for the model's sales, said Zheng Jun, an auto analyst from CITIC's China Securities Research.

FAW Toyota has slashed Prius' sales target to between 1,000 and 1,500 in China this year, compared with its 2005 goal of 3,000 a year.

The Chinese government has been encouraging car makers to develop more eco-friendly vehicles amid rising awareness of environmental protection and energy efficiency.

Honda started importing its Civic hybrid to China at the end of last year while General Motors Corp will start selling its Chinese-made Buick LaCrosse hybrid sedan this year. Other models include the Lexus RX 400h sport utility vehicle, and China's first hybrid sedan, the Jiexun-HEV, made by Chang'an Automotive Group.
source: Shanghai Daily
 

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This trendy and frisky little green car has gotten little attention in China. In 2007 it sold in numbers less than 400. Yes, it was ridiculously expensive, but part of the reason is also the government's failure to offer incentives to either sellers or buyers.
 
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