Toyota Still Looking To Move Prius Production To U.S.


I’m not sure how long ago it was when I first heard that Toyota was looking to move Prius production to the United States. Besides being their biggest market, Toyota was probably hoping to stifle some criticism regarding the green credentials of a car that is produced from parts shipped all over the world (sometimes more than once). That was back in 2008.  

Toyota talking about moving production of the Prius to North America once again, and they’ve set a target date of 2015.

Granted, once the Great Recession hit, a lot of companies, big and small alike, had to change their plans. In the wake of last year’s devastating Japanese tsunami, which crippled Toyota’s ability to build the Prius, Toyota is now looking to secure local suppliers of hybrid components in North America. Not only will that reduce costs (as the high Yen is driving Japanese production costs skyward) but it will also add to the Prii’s green cred.

Alas, sourcing hybrid parts in North America is easier said than done. Many components for hybrid drivetrains come from China, and require Chinese rare earth elements. That said, moving production of the Prius and its components to the U.S. would not only be a big boon for American manufacturing, but it make the Prius more resilient to industry-rattling events like the tsunami, which affected automakers the world over.

Toyota is aiming to open the new plant by 2015, right around when a new generation Prius should be hitting dealerships. Word is the new manufacturing plant will utilize more lithium-ion technology, which could mean that the new Prii will finally ditch the nickel-hydride batteries they’ve been using. These plants may also build future Prius C and V models, as well as any other Prius + Letter combination Toyota can come up with (automakers in general need more creative names if you ask me).

I’m no fan of the Prius, but bringing production to the U.S. is a good thing no matter what way you cut it. I just hope Toyota actually goes through with it this time.

Source: The Truth About Cars

About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he’s running, because he’s one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.

  • Josh G

    I don’t like Toyota or the Prius. If they moved production to the USA and not just North America, i would hate it far less.
    However i don’t think people should spend the money on a prickus, and get a car that doesn’t make people vomit when they look at it.

    • A US-built Prius would probably be significantly less expensive for American consumers to buy than the Japan-made version, and could (in theory) create some much-needed manufacturing jobs. I think that if you hated Toyota at that point, you’d have to start wondering about what motivates you to get so worked up over a car (positively or negatively … it’s only metal, man).

  • I’m not thrilled about the looks of a Prius either. But the fact is that this car saves people a hell of a lot of money on fuel costs. I don’t like my POS over engineered, constantly needs attention, 96 Passat TDI but I do like the fact that it saves me $2K a year in fuel vs. my former Chevy Lumina. So until Detroit gets it’s schnit together and builds a true 50MPG car like the afore’mentioned we’re stuck with foreign builds. Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go replace the window motor in my POS.

    • LOL! For what it’s worth, lots of US-sold Fords are built in TURKEY now, so I don’t care what badge is on the car – build it here, and we’ll probably buy it.

  • Aj

    Whether you love or hate it, you have to give it to toyota for the spectacular transformation of the dull prius car into a prii brand with the launch of the amazingly-selling prius V & C. If I may “the market forces have spoken!”.