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Toyota to Roll out Family of Prius Models

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Toyota FT-CH Concept

Detroit January 12, 2010; The AIADA newsletter reported that according to The Detroit News, Toyota Motor Corp., seeking to build on the popularity of its Prius hybrid, announced Monday that it will create a family of Prius cars that will include a gas-electric compact based on the FT-CH concept car that it unveiled here.

"The Prius name has great value," Toyota Motor Sales President Jim Lentz said at the North American International Auto Show. "I think in the future, the No. 1 nameplate in the U.S. will be the Prius, not Camry," he said in reference to Toyota's top-selling sedan.

Designed at Toyota's French studio in Nice, the FT-CH is smaller, lighter and 22 inches shorter than Toyota's midsize Prius car. Toyota's plan to create a collection of models associated with the Prius will allow the automaker to extract more value from the hybrid technology that Toyota and its Japanese rival Honda Motor Co. pioneered.

Honda and Toyota officials say that their conventional hybrid technology is still the best way today to satisfy customers' desires for cleaner cars that can be easily refueled.

Also at the show, Honda unveiled a sporty two-seater hybrid, the Honda CR-Z.