Green car market heats up in Japan
Friday 17 June 2011
The latest version of Toyota Motor Corp.'s Prius hybrid vehicle has received a warm welcome from consumers in Japan, while Mitsubishi Motors Corp. has responded by slashing the price of its i-MiEV vehicle to make it the first electric car available to the general public for less than Y2 million (€17,406).
Toyota has announced that it received 52,000 orders for its new Prius Alpha in the month after it first went on sale, far outstripping the 3,000 units it set as a sales target before the launch.
The majority of the orders were for the five-seat wagon version of the vehicle, while 14,000 people opted for the seven-seat minivan.
The figures will be welcomed by Toyota, which has had serious problems procuring components for its vehicles in the wake of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, which damaged many of its suppliers' production facilities, and saw sales of the previous Prius version tumble 76.1 percent in May.
The new seven-seater has a price tag of around Y3 million (€26,165) and the automaker aims to make it available in the United States as soon as this summer and in Europe in the early part of 2012.
The launch of the new Prius may well have been a contributing factor behind Mitsubishi Motors' decision to cut Y1 million (€8,740) off the sticker price of its i-MiEV electric vehicle, which was already competing with Nissan Motor Co.'s Leaf.
The cheaper version will have a smaller battery, reducing the distance that it can travel without needing to be recharged. At present, the lithium ion batteries in the i-MiEV give it a range of 160 km, which will be pared down to 120 km.
The announcements come on top of more good news for Japan's all-important auto industry, with manufacturers moving to step up production in the second half of the fiscal year as they overcome the problems caused by the natural disasters of March.
Toyota and Nissan have announced that they are nearly back to the same producion levels as before the earthquake and Honda Motor Co. is expected to be in a similar position before the end of June, fully two months faster than it initially anticipated.
Demand will be particularly strong in areas of northern Japan worst affected by the tsunami, where tens of thousands of cars were crushed by the waves.
Rap music mogul accused of running two men over in his truck
The party's potential nominations read like a high school race for student body president
Life & Style blogs
Who is Teresa Fidalgo? Debunking the fake ghost story that's got Instagram spooked
Snapchat removed the Best Friends list feature and 'stalkers' are upset
Baldness could soon be treated using stem cells, scientists hope
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
Eight-year-old girl Camilla Lisant suggests possible cure for cancer to her scientist father
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
- 1 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 2 The awkward moment Sarah Palin raised $25,000 for Hillary Clinton's election campaign
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 5 Baldness could soon be treated using stem cells, scientists hope
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is a two form entry primary schoo...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for an Engineering M...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A skilled .NET developer with e...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company are cur...