With pre-orders of the new Prius in Japan exceeding expectations, Toyota was considering holding or reducing shipment to the U.S. until they could meet the demand in Japan, but has now reconsidered and will increased production instead.

Initially, Toyota had set a sales goal of 100,000 units in Japan by December of this year.  Pre-orders came in at 80,000 and they have sold an additional 20,000 in  the 2 weeks following the launch of the vehicle.  Add it up and Toyota has met their mark with 6 months left to spare. 

In a bind to meet demand, the company initially considered cutting U.S. deliveries until they could catch up.  But they nixed that plan and instead have opted to increase production at both Prius facilities to bring annual production up from 400,000 to 500,000 units.

According to the head of communications for Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. John Hanson, "We're upping production to protect allocations for the U.S. and Europe while still satisfying home market demand.  We don't want the North American market to be hurt."

By increasing supply, Toyota hopes to keep up with the incredible demand that the new Prius has generated.

Source:  Edmunds