Toyota will start to manufacture its highly popular Prius hybrid car in America. That´s a move that car experts say has been made to cut down the waiting list for this hybrid vehicle. Toyota announced that it rejigged its plans for manufacturing plants and that the Prius will be rolling off the belts of a factory currently under construction in Blue Springs, Mississippi.
That plant had originally been destined for the production of gasoline-powered Highlander SUVs. The high demand for low-emissions, fuel-efficient Prius cars is what made the Japanese firm change its future plans. The Blue Springs plant will be ready for operations in 2010. The product that will emerge then most probably will be the new 3rd-generation Prius that is likely to be shown at the Detroit car show next January.
Production of the Prius at the Blue Springs plant will help to reduce the car’s notorious short supply. The Prius is not the first vehicle to be manufactured locally in the United States. Toyota already produces its Camry Hybrids in Kentucky.
Toyota has shifted its plans for producing the Highlander to a factory in Indiana. The company’s Tundra truck will be relocated to a factory in San Antonio, Texas. The production of the Tundra and the Sequoia has been put on hold until November due to a severe decline in demand.
Despite the massive popularity of the Prius the car is not beyond infallibility. Both car experts and trendsetters who have doubts about the hybrid´s effectiveness are beginning to develop followers. Some of these are all but violent according to a spate of news reports. The vandalism seems to suggest that the mild antipathy toward the vehicle is beginning to turn into a hate you´d imagine had only been reserved for Hummer owners.
US News.com reports that seven Priuses parked in San Francisco suburbs were damaged during two weeks last April. And a newer model on the streets in Los Angeles was set alight by other vandals. And in Santa Rosa, five Prius cars were attacked according to the same source.
One explanation for the strong antipathy might be the tv show “South Park”, according to Hart Seeley, a writer at the New York-based Syracuse.com. The commentator says the show’s suggestion that Prius owners contribute dangerous levels of ‘smug’ to the atmosphere has seriously been taken on board by the car site Jalopnik. Since the beginning of this year, Seeley reports, Jalopnik has used the word “smug” in articles dealing with hybrid related issues some 57 times.