Toyota Motor Corp, the first automaker to sell cars powered by gasoline-electric hybrid engines, beat the sales target for its redesigned Prius hybrid more than threefold in the first month after its release. \nToyota, the world's third-largest automaker by unit sales, received 16,000 orders for the car after its introduction in Japan on Sept. 1, senior managing director Kyoji Sasazu said. The company set a sales target of 5,000 units in the first month, and 3,000 a month on average during the vehicle's life cycle. \n"I personally hoped for 8,000" sales in the first month, Sasazu said after a press conference to release Toyota's new Sienta minivan in Tokyo yesterday. \nToyota, which posted its third straight record annual profit for the year ended March 31, said its auto sales at home may rise 0.6 percent to 1.72 million units this business year. \nToyota has sold more than 120,000 Prius cars in the last six years and has said it plans to double its hybrid lineup to six models by about 2006, including sport-utility vehicles. \nSasazu said selling the Prius through more channels is helping to raise sales. \nThe Prius, which costs between ?2.15 million (US$19,352) and ?2.57 million will be sold in the US and Europe later this year. \n"The Prius isn't that cheap, but it's a happy surprise for us that the model is selling very well," Sasazu said. \nHybrids combine a gasoline engine with a battery pack and electric motor to cut exhaust emissions and fuel consumption. \nSuch engine components add at least US$3,000 to the price tag, analysts say. \nToyota and Honda Motor Co are the only companies in the world selling hybrids to the public. General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co plan to offer their own vehicles next year in the US, where hybrid buyers get a US$2,000 federal income-tax credit. \nA mid-sized hybrid driving about 3,000km a year may save its owner as much as ?2.5 million (US$22,321) over four years, based on Japanese gasoline prices, said Koji Endo, an analyst at Credit Suisse First Boston Japan Inc. \nThe revamped Prius is 140kg lighter than its predecessor, helping to make it 15 percent more fuel-efficient. \nThe Toyota City-based automaker expects 76,000 Prius sales worldwide next year, including 36,000 in Japan, the same number in the US and about 5,000 in Europe, the company has said. \nToyota, which plans to sell 300,000 hybrid cars by 2006, now has a hybrid lineup including the Estima and Alphard minivans and the Crown luxury car. The automaker said in January it will release a hybrid version of the RX330 sport-utility in the US.
‘HERO OF THE ERA’: President Tsai Ing-wen expressed deep sadness at Lee’s passing, and told the government to assist his family with all their needs Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) passed away at 7:24pm yesterday at Taipei Veterans General Hospital. He was 97 years old. The hospital stated the cause of death as septic shock and multiple organ failure. Lee had been hospitalized there since February, when he choked on a mouthful of milk at home. He was later diagnosed with pulmonary infiltrates and aspiration pneumonia. The hospital said that Lee had been treated with antibiotics, but that his health had not improved, as his advanced age and diabetes had inhibited his immune system and led to recurring infections. During his hospitalization, Lee underwent daily kidney dialysis, which removed
‘WEAK POSITIVE’: The man arrived in Taiwan in May and was quarantined for two weeks, Chen Shih-chung said, adding that he might be infected a long time ago The government is considering tightening mask-wearing rules again in light of a potential domestic COVID-19 infection, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) confirmed seven new COVID-19 cases, six of which are imported. The other case involves a Belgian engineer who entered Taiwan on May 3 and remained in quarantine until May 17, said Chen, who heads the CECC. Although the source of infection has yet to be identified, the case could end the nation’s record of not having any domestic cases in the previous 110 days. The Belgian, in his 20s, is a technician
ROAD TO HISTORY: When Lee Teng-hui joined the KMT, the likelihood of a Taiwanese becoming ROC president, much less its first directly elected one, was hard to imagine Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), who was born on Jan. 15, 1923, in the farming community of Sanshi Village, Taihoku Prefecture — now New Taipei City’s Sanzhi District (三芝) — during the Japanese colonial era, and rose to become mayor of Taipei and not only the Republic of China’s (ROC) first Taiwan-born president, but its first directly elected one as well. Educated in the Japanese educational system of the time, Lee, who spoke Japanese, Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese), Mandarin and English, won a scholarship to Kyoto Imperial University, but his studies were interrupted by World War II. He earned a bachelor’s
BRIBERY CASE: President Tsai Ing-wen accepted Su Jia-chyuan’s resignation as he said that he deeply regretted causing trouble for the president due to the investigation Presidential Office Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) yesterday resigned after his nephew, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清), was implicated in a bribery case related to a dispute over the ownership of Pacific Sogo Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨). “I resigned from the post so that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) would not be bothered by it anymore, and the prosecutors can investigate the case in a fair and just manner. I thank President Tsai once again for supporting me. May the country continue to prosper under her leadership,” Su Jia-chyuan said in a statement. The Presidential Office said that Tsai has accepted