Toyota's New Prius: A Hybrid Hotshot

Toyota Prius Chief Engineer Akihiko Otsuka cut a relaxed figure during a briefing at the carmaker's Tokyo offices on May 19. Toyota (TM), he said, is confident that sales of the new-generation Prius will run between 300,000 to 400,000 between now and the end of the year. Not bad for what was once dismissed as a niche product. The success of the Prius is a source of pride for Otsuka, a keen angler who heard he had been assigned to work on the current generation of the hybrid while fishing by a river in Kanazawa in western Japan.

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