The Prius may be a few years old and starting to show its age, but there is a new one coming out late next year and the world's largest car manufacturer, Toyota, is planning to increase annual production by 70 percent.
The Big T plans to manufacture at least 480,000 Prius cars per year starting from 2010, according to a report published in a Japanese industry daily published last Friday.
If you're wondering, Toyota is experiencing unprecedented demand for the Prius in most part of the world. Last year 281,300 Prius car were sold worldwide with demand largely outstripping supply.
Current production of the iconic car takes place at Toyota's Tsutsumi factory in central Japan as well as another manufacturing plant belonging to affiliate Toyota Auto Body. Some 320 Priuses were also put together in China last year.
The plan is to make the Tsutsumi factory a Prius only production facility, transferring production of five other models to another factory by April next year.
The latest news follows a recent announcement by the world's biggest automaker to begin production of the Prius at an upcoming Mississippi (US) factory from 2010.
No doubt the plan to increase hybrid production is to reach Toyota's goal of selling at least 1 million hybrid vehicles annually by early next decade.