TOKYO--Toyota Motor may delay the U.S. launch of the wagon-style Prius V, scheduled for late summer, because of the March 11 earthquake.
The vehicle went on sale here May 13 as the Prius Alpha, several weeks later than planned. Toyota pushed back the launch because production at the Tsutsumi plant in Toyota City was shut down by the quake.
"It may have some impact from the earthquake," chief engineer Hiroshi Kayukawa said of the U.S. launch at a Tokyo test-drive event. Toyota is still considering whether to delay, he said.
In Japan, Toyota had 25,000 orders for the Prius Alpha before it went on sale--about eight times the monthly sales target of 3,000 units. The long line means people ordering the hybrid today may have to wait until April 2012 for delivery, Toyota said.
About 7,000 of the orders are for the three-row variant equipped with lithium ion batteries. Toyota had expected to sell only 1,000 of the lithium ion powered cars a month.