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.
EFFICIENCY: The rules for Philippine arrivals were revised after 17.6% of arrivals with symptoms tested positive, compared with 0.7% of those with no symptoms Starting today, Chinese spouses who hold a reunion permit can apply to enter Taiwan and travelers without symptoms from the Philippines do not need to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival, but are to be tested after a 14-day quarantine, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that from today, Chinese who are married to a Taiwanese citizen and hold a reunion permit can apply to the National Immigration Agency for entry into Taiwan. Chinese who are married to a foreign national and hold an accompanied reunion permit
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CONSOLIDATION? Taiwan Thinktank deputy executive-general Doong Sy-chi said Beijing’s intimidation tactics are further alienating those who identify as Chinese Only 2 percent of respondents to a poll on constitutional amendments and national identity identified as Chinese, while 62.6 percent identified as Taiwanese, the Taiwan Thinktank said yesterday. Legislators have proposed amendments to the Additional Articles of the Constitution (憲法增修條文), which would change the definition of the nation’s territory, remove the Taiwan Provincial Government as an entity, prioritize the use of “Taiwan” for national groups at international events, and remove restrictions on defining the national emblem, national flag and national anthem. The poll showed that 80.5 percent of respondents agreed that the nation should participate as “Taiwan” at events organized by world
MISTAKE: The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy is not a UN body, and the government is committed to protecting the nation’s name, Joseph Wu said The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday condemned the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy for listing Taiwanese cities as belonging to China on its Web site, and asked that it correct the error. The organization was inaugurated in Brussels in 2016 as a global coalition of mayors committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Six Taiwanese cities at the time joined the coalition as cities in “Taiwan,” the ministry said. However, officials from the Kaohsiung City Government — one of the organization’s members — last week noticed that the city was now listed on the organization’s Web site as a