Toyota will begin making the Prius hybrid in Thailand, which means that this will mark the first mass production of the model outside Japan. Toyota, said in an official statement that it will start rolling out the Prius at an existing plant in Thailand in late November.
Currently, the vehicle is produced at Toyota’s main plant in Japan, but due to the yen’s rise to a 15-year high against the dollar, the competitiveness of Japanese exports is threatened and manufacturers are considering shifting more output outside Japan.
Regarding the Thai plant, this is located at about 110 kilometres southeast of Bangkok, and according to Toyota it has a capacity of 200,000 units a year of such sedans as the Camry, Camry Hybrid and Corolla. Unfortunately we don’t know yet the number of Prius cars which will be produced at the plant.
Furthermore, the Japanese manufacturer is considering halting exports from Japan of the Corolla sedan from around 2013 due to the strong yen.
Of course, things might change until then, but the latest Japanese media reports said that Toyota is seriously considering halting exports. [via autonews - sub. required]