Today, Toyota started Chinese production of its third gen Prius hybrid. The car is being assembled at Toyota’s joint venture plant with FAW in frigid Changchun in China’s northern Jilin Province. Sales of the vehicle will begin in early 2012.
Production of the second generation Prius had started in China in 2005, the first time the vehicle was produced outside Japan. Due to its high price, the car was met with mixed success in largely hybrid averse China. Powertrain and core technology were imported from Japan, which kept the price up.
With the 3rd gen Prius, the technology is still being imported. However, there are plans for localized production.
In October, TMC announced plans to further localize production of hybrid technologies in China. Fully localized production of hybrid system components is expected by 2015.