• Kyodo

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Toyota Motor Corp. said Thursday that its new Prius hybrid model has made a strong debut, having attracted some 11,000 orders since its Sept. 1 launch.

Toyota had predicted it would receive orders for around 5,000 units for the first month. In light of its current manufacturing situation, the automaker expects delivery to take about two months after an order is submitted, Toyota officials said.

Toyota has been producing the Prius at full capacity, involving overtime work at the car’s assembly line. The automaker temporarily halted overtime at its other lines following the Sept. 3 gas tank explosion at Nippon Steel Corp.’s Nagoya plant.

Toyota plans to continue operating its plant during holidays after the Prius goes on sale in the U.S. next month.

The new Prius, which constituted the first full model change in six years, has a fuel efficiency rate of 35.5 km per liter of gasoline, 10 percent higher than the previous model and comparable with cars powered by a 2-liter gasoline engine.

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