Toyota Prius Prime Launch Delayed In Japan

AUG 4 2016 BY MARK KANE 19

Toyota Prius Prime

Toyota Prius Prime

Latest plug-in hybrid Toyota – the Prius Prime – is delayed in Japan.

New generation Prius hybrid is best seller in home market, but the Prius Prime due undisclosed reasons will appear several months later (winter instead of fall).

It’s not clear whether this delay will ultimately effect North America and Europe, where Prius Prime sales were slated to begin before the end of the year.  As of now, it does not (more on that below).

The other not so good news is that Prius’s chief engineer, Koji Toyoshima, in June told Automotive News about 60,000 sales annual target, split between Japan and North America (with very low share for Europe). Now we reads that initial production will be reduced, and then increased with demand.

We should note that we have been stating for awhile now that we felt early delivery expectations were optimistic at best:

“… in June we tracked down Toyota’s plant information and found out the Prius Prime enters retail production this September…so our new hunch is that it will not be available in any depth, anywhere until closer to Christmas.”

Our hunch is that this news now is just the PR department catching up with what Toyota has been planning internally.  Last week Toyota still confirmed an arrival date (and the price) of the Prius Prime into the Netherlands before the end of the year, so our assumption is that the roll-out will no longer be staggered with Japan getting the model early/first.

source: Automotive News

Categories: Toyota

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19 Comments on "Toyota Prius Prime Launch Delayed In Japan"

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Mitsubishi Outlander for the umpteenth time and now Toyota with its first attempt! What gives?

Two entirely different vehicles for two entirely different lifestyles. They don’t compare.

His point are the delays, not the specific vehicles themselves.

To be fair Toyota is already pretty late with the Prius 😉

Perhaps they’ll hurry to give it a 5th seat.

Would be nice if they would offer up a full electric version of the Prius.

That would probably sell well, especially if they could get 200+ miles of AER.

It’s remarkable that Toyota, long the dominant force in hybrids, can’t get out of its own way when it comes to plug-ins. It’s such an obvious and natural extension.

“anywhere until closer to Christmas” aka, end of the year…Does Japan have any Carb/ZEV credit equivalents? Perhaps Toyota feels 2018 deliveries are more important than 2017 deliveries in Japan…

Accidentally stuck hydrogen hardware in them, until someone pointed out that the jowls were too small to be Mirai. Being sent back for gasoline retrofit.?

Toyota is still trying to make money from standard hybrids. Toyota only introduced the Prius C about 5 years ago.

Toyota has dominated the hybrid market and hybrids have become a cash cow for them.

Toyota knows that to embrace the new plug-in technology that gets twice the mileage of the Prius would put an end to their old-line hybrid business.

The funny thing about that is, there isn’t much difference in an HEV and PHEV from a technology standpoint other than the battery itself. All of the other development they’ve done should carry over mostly AS-IS. Granted, if they want to make really great PHEVs then they’ll need a few changes like they did with the Prime, such as the one-way clutch on the engine and a larger inverter. But still, none of it is really all that different from a regular HEV. Which makes it all that more puzzling why they haven’t stayed at the forefront of the PHEV game.

It’s worth noting that the Rav4 hybrid is doing really well, averaging about 3500 sales per month, better than either the Fusion or Camry HEV. That would bode well for a Rav4 Prime if ever Toyota were thinking of adding plugs to more of their HEV lineup.

I wonder if this is because of delay’s to the Tesla’s giga factory? I should imagine Panasonic need time to move in, setup production and get going before they can re-purpose the Japanese factories to produce the Prime cells.

With Prius family down 27% combined YOY (new Prius down 11%), they are probably rethinking some of the specs.

Maybe they are tweaking for the 5th seat or better mpg in gas mode.

Maybe they aren’t meeting the cost goal. Maybe the battery is degrading during their final test… LOL.

I am educating tps ( lean production) for nearly 10 years now. I really am honored to be able to get a glimpse of their way of teaching and running their company. I fully like to help others to learn as toyota kata. ..

So, my guess on this topic is that, how much will the batteries cost?, how good is really the longterm durability on the big pack batteries? and finally there could be a part of internal learning when delaying the release in Japan.

Remember Tesla durability on their own batteries are just 10 years!… (their own salesperson answers this! )

Toyota is always thinking in the longterm and not the initial cost benefits.

Due to this, they do not want to deliver products to customer so they will find quality issues..

In this part Toyota seemes to the only(!) company in the world to do this.

Tesla’s batteries have been holding up well.

The reason Tesla targets 10 years use (not durability!), as stated by JB Straubel, is getting the best balance of cost v performance characteristics.

There are chemistries that are stabler and have lower degradation, but they cost more and have lower density. See lithium iron phosphate.

And if you spend to lower degradation, you’re paying today’s prices so you can use it in years 11-20, say, when in 10 years time, batteries prices are expected to have fallen significantly and densities to have improved. The target for 2020 to 2025 is $100/kWh.

Combine all of that with cost of money, and it really doesn’t make sense to target longer than 10 years.

In any case, the delay will simply be due to some element of car production. It could be something specific to Japan. It happens with a lot of vehicles. It happened with the Gen 2 Volt.

GM themselves never explained to why they only released MY16 Volt to the carb states and never cited production issues…Opinions are for whatever reason, they determined they wanted more ZEV credits for 2015…Perhaps the same thing is happening with the Prime in Japan…

I hope the delay is to add that 5th seat back in. Lots of people were upset by that.