UPDATE 1-Toyota to begin producing Prius in Thailand

* To use existing plant, supply only for Thailand initially

* Says not planning to boost capacity of Thai plant

* Strong yen prompts Japan firms to mull more output abroad
(Adds more details)

TOKYO, Oct 21 (BestGrowthStock) – Toyota Motor Corp. (7203.T: ), the
world’s largest carmaker, said on Thursday it would begin making
its flagship Prius hybrid sedan in Thailand, marking the first
mass production of the model outside Japan.

Toyota, which has been making the gas-electric hybrid vehicle
at its main plant in central Japan, will start rolling out the
Prius at an existing plant in Thailand in late November, the
company said in a statement.

The yen’s rise to a 15-year high against the dollar (JPY=: ) is
threatening the competitiveness of Japanese exports and prompting
manufacturers to consider shifting more output outside Japan.

The Thai plant, located about 110 kilometres southeast of
Bangkok, has the capacity to make 200,000 units a year of such
sedans as the Camry, Camry Hybrid and Corolla models and does not
have plans to raise capacity, Toyota spokesman Paul Nolasco said.

Toyota will make an unspecified number of Prius cars at the
plant for supply only within the growing Thai market, at least
initially, he said.

Toyota is also considering halting exports from Japan of the
Corolla sedan from around 2013 due to the strong yen, Japanese
media reported have reported. [ID:nTOE69D02K]
(Reporting by Yumiko Nishitani; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

UPDATE 1-Toyota to begin producing Prius in Thailand