Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Whither Prime?

Shot from the stage during the NYIAS debut of the Prius Prime back in March of this year.

Ouch, seems Toyota Japan is calling Prius Prime for a later delivery than expected, this after, the second generation Prius is already well over two years late.

From Reuters...
Toyota Motor Corp said on Wednesday that it would delay the Japan launch of its plug-in Prius gasoline hybrid model to winter, from an initial schedule of autumn.
I'd also like to point out that, while "autumn" and "winter" may be delivery times more or less standard in the auto industry, for the rest of the world, these are known as seasons, not "delivery times".
The automaker declined to give a reason for the delay or be more specific about the timing.
It could be the low gas prices. Toyota may not want to launch Prime into what is easily the worst high MPG car environment in years but, there's also more competition and Volt seems to be doing well enough...
A spokesman said it would reduce initial production of the model, although output would eventually pick up according to demand.
"Reduced output"? Because Toyota isn't good at making cars? Or, well, it's obvious Toyota wants to, at least in some part, see if a small delay works in their favor. All this assumes, of course, that there isn't some other reason, some manufacturing reason, that Prime is being stalled before it even gets to the gate. Are production vehicles not performing to standards? Could the looming first generation plug-in class action be forcing Toyota to release very specific specs of the new Prime?

The truth is I don't know and no one outside of Toyota Japan probably knows, right now.

The original article was corrected to show that this news only affected the Japan release, not the global release but, there seems to be no reporting that the global is still on schedule. Which is as close to a non-denial non-statement as modern language allows us.