Toyota Motor Corp. is studying hybrid vehicle production in North America. It likely would use an existing plant.
Jim Press, COO of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc., says hybrid production here would not necessarily mean building the Prius in America. Using an existing Toyota plant likely would mean using platforms that are used here already.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, on a trip to Japan last week, offered Toyota Motor President Fujio Cho tax incentives to build hybrids in California. Toyota assembles the Corolla sedan, Matrix sport wagon and Tacoma pickup in California.
A Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun newspaper report said Toyota will begin building hybrid versions of the Lexus GS sedan in Japan in the spring, after the launch of the Lexus RX 400h and Toyota Highlander hybrid SUVs.
Fuel-efficient hybrids use an internal combustion engine and an electric motor to power the wheels.