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Toyota to Start Production of Hybrid Vehicles

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Tokyo — TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION (TMC) announced today that it would produce hybrid vehicles in North America for the first time in the company's history, starting in the second half of 2006. This important step reflects Toyota's aim to spread the use of high-performance hybrid vehicles and further increase localization in North America.

Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc. (TMMK), which is one of Toyota's existing production plants in North America, will be in charge of producing the hybrid version of the highly successful Camry model. TMC will invest an additional 10 million U.S. dollars in order to start hybrid production and to reach the expected monthly production target of 4,000 Camry hybrids.

The project was announced during a press conference in Kentucky, U.S.A. (May 17, local time) in the presence of Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher, TMMK President Gary L. Convis and Executive Vice President and COO of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. Jim Press.

The Toyota Prius, launched in North America in 2000, was the very first mass-produced hybrid vehicle. The second-generation Prius was launched in 2003 and North American cumulative sales of the Prius reached 147,000 units by the end of March 2005.

Besides the Prius, Toyota also offers-or is scheduled to offer-the following other hybrid vehicles in North America: the Lexus RX400h (since April 2005), the Highlander Hybrid (from June 2005) and the Lexus GS450h (in 2006). This again demonstrates Toyota's strong conviction that hybrid technology is key to tomorrow's automotive development.

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