Toyota to Produce Hybrid Vehicles in Thailand

Production plans call for 9,000 cars per year

Toyota announced on June 10 that it will start producing hybrid cars at its factories in Thailand, and aims to churn out 9,000 of the fuel-efficient vehicles per year. Production of the Camry Hybrid will begin in 2009, Toyota Motor Corp. said, as record high oil prices and environmental awareness are pushing consumers to search out more efficient vehicles.

Toyota Thailand president Mitsuhiro Sonoda said the kingdom will be the first country in Southeast Asia to produce hybrid vehicles. Toyota announced earlier that Australia would also produce the cars. "As the Camry has received a warm welcome from Thai customers, we are sure these customers will be satisfied not only with the product but also with its environmental performance," he said.

Toyota was the pioneer of hybrids, which deliver power by switching between a regular engine and an electric motor. It primarily produces the hybrid in Japan but also in the U.S. and China. Toyota's hybrid output jumped 25% to 430,000 units in 2007 and is expected to soar to one million units in the early 2010s.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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