Toyota to build 12,000 Prius hybrids in Thailand

Toyota says that it will build 12,000 Priuses in Thailand annually to supplement production at its Japanese plants.

Toyota says that it will build around 12,000 Toyota Prius hybrid-electric vehicles in Thailand annually, marking the first time that the popular eco-friendly five-door will be built in great numbers outside of Japan.

Previously, Toyota began building an assembly plant in Mississippi that was set to build the Prius for North America, but the automaker subsequently mothballed the incomplete plant before announcing earlier this year that it will build its Toyota Corolla compact sedan there instead.

Toyota announced plans to build its Prius in Thailand earlier this year, but the automaker didn't release production numbers. The Prius goes on sale in Thailand beginning tomorrow at a price of 1.19 million baht (around $40,000).

"It is indeed a proud moment for us to see Prius production start here at Gateway Plant," Toyota's Thailand president, Kyoichi Tanada, said in a statement released to members of the media. "This is proof positive of the increasing level of Thai manufacturing on both quality and safety fronts."

The Prius isn't Toyota's first hybrid to be built in Thailand, however. Its Camry Hybrid model has been produced there since last year.