Toyota to Build Subcompact Hybrid at New Miyagi Prefecture Plant

New Yaris/Vitz-class hybrid will offer better fuel economy than Prius at the equivalent of 84 mpg (40 km/l).

Published: 02-Jan-2010

NAGOYA (Kyodo) Toyota Motor Corp. plans to produce hybrid vehicles at a new assembly plant that will start operating in 2011 in northeastern Japan, sources familiar with the move said Friday.

Toyota intends to manufacture a Vitz-class subcompact hybrid model at the plant in Ohira, Miyagi Prefecture, which would be one of the automaker's key domestic production hubs for gasoline-electric cars along with its Aichi and Kyushu factories.

Central Motor Co., a Toyota subsidiary, will run the Miyagi plant by transferring its head office and manufacturing plant from Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture. Hybrids to be assembled in Miyagi are likely to go on sale in 2011 at around 1.5 million yen and with gas mileage of over 40 km a liter — a better performance than the popular Prius.

Another Toyota unit, Panasonic EV Energy Co., is expected to produce and supply batteries for the new hybrid at a new plant scheduled to start operating later this month in Taiwa, Miyagi Prefecture.
Several other Toyota group companies are also scheduled to manufacture auto parts near the new Miyagi plant.

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