TOKYO -- Toyota Motor Corp.'s emergency task forced charged with propping up the automaker's profits is reviewing plans to build the Prius hybrid at a new plant in Mississippi.
U.S. sales of the redesigned Prius had been scheduled to begin in mid-2009, with imports from Japan.
And U.S. production of the Prius, originally scheduled to begin in 2010, could now be pushed back to 2011 or later, Japan's Nikkei newspaper reported November 14, without citing sources.
Toyota confirmed that the committee is currently reviewing all future products and capital investments. But nothing has been decided yet, the Japanese automaker said.
"That includes the Prius," spokeswoman Kayo Doi said.
The task force, chaired by President Katsuaki Watanabe, was formed after Toyota booked an operating loss in North America for the first half and slashed its full-year earnings forecast.
Toyota's Mississippi plant had been slated to build the Highlander SUV. But amid falling sales of big vehicles, Toyota opted instead for the Prius to tap booming demand for fuel-efficient cars.