New Prius heralds carmaker's fresh business vision

NAGOYA -- The all-new Prius hybrid vehicle marks the beginning of a new phase in Toyota Motor's evolution, as it is the first model to be developed and produced under the carmaker's new global business initiative.

The latest version of the popular vehicle was officially launched in Japan on Dec. 9, but the event admittedly lacked in sensational value. After all, the model was already unveiled in Las Vegas in September. It also made an appearance at the Tokyo Motor Show, which was held just a little over a month ago.

Nevertheless, new pieces of information, such as detailed specs, were released during the launch event. One thing that drew industry watchers' attention was the level of pre-orders.

"I am afraid that the delivery of the A-grade configurations will be delayed until April or May. We are working hard to shorten the delay, but we also implore our customers to be patient," Executive Vice President Mitsuhisa Kato said during the event.

Toyota revealed that the average waiting time for the new Prius overall will be three to four months, but that for the upper-range A-grade models will likely stretch to four to five months.

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