Toyota Doubling Up On Hybrids
The popularity of hybrid vehicle models like the Prius has soared along with gasoline prices in North America.
Vehicle manufacturer Toyota plans to produce 500,000 autos with hybrid engine technology in 2006.
According to the Asahi Shimbun, Toyota expects demand for its Prius to grow dramatically. The company recently announced plans to build hybrid versions of its enormously popular Camry at it Georgetown, Kentucky plant. 50,000 hybrid Camrys will be produced by the Georgetown plant in 2006.
Toyota will build hybrids of a couple of its SUV models, Harrier and Kluger, which are sold in North America under the Lexus brand. Demand for those SUVs has seen waiting periods of three or four months. Also, the Lexus luxury line will have hybrid models by the end of 2006.
Ford and Honda both manufacture hybrid vehicles, but neither to the scale of Toyota. And, Toyota has been encouraging its affiliated suppliers of hybrid-related parts to ramp up production of key items like batteries for hybrid engines.
David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.