Toyota unveils family of Prius hybrids

DETROIT, January 10, 2011 (AFP) – Toyota unveiled new siblings for its popular Prius hybrid Monday, introducing a brand new midsized wagon, a plug-in, and a compact Prius at the Detroit auto show. The family was launched as Toyota struggles to rebuild its once-stellar reputation after it was rocked by a series of mass recalls and its top executives were raked over the coals at congressional hearings for failing to report the deadly defects sooner.

Akio Toyoda, the Japanese automaker’s president and grandson of its founder, was on hand Monday to unveil the new Prius line and underline Toyota’s commitment to safety and quality.

“We are honored and humbled that Toyota was the number one retail brand in the US last year, regaining the highest consideration among consumers, he told reporters.

“These achievements during a difficult year were made possible through the outstanding efforts of Toyota associates, dealers, and suppliers, and the support of loyal customers all across America.”

“We intend to continue to earn that customer loyalty with even greater dedication to quality, safety, and customer care.”

The new vehicles are part of the Japanese automaker’s strategy to introdu