TOKYO -- Toyota Motor said it would delay the Japan launch of its latest plug-in Prius hybrid to winter from an initial schedule of fall.
The automaker declined to give a reason for the delay or be more specific about the timing.
Toyota will reduce initial production of the model although output will eventually pick up according to demand, a spokesman said today.
Previously, Toyota had said that it would begin sales of the new-generation Prius plug-in model in Japan in the fall and that the car would become available in North America and Europe around late fall.
Sales of the new Prius standard hybrid have been sluggish in the U.S. since it went on sale in February, as low gasoline prices have ramped up demand for gas-guzzling SUVs and pickup trucks. The car has been the best-selling model in Japan since the start of the year.
In June the Prius's chief engineer, Koji Toyoshima, told Automotive News that Toyota is targeting 60,000 sales a year for the Prius plug-in hybrid, with about half of the sales in North America, the other half in Japan and marginal sales in Europe.