Toyota Motor Corp has slashed production of the Prius hybrid model by 10 percent from March due to a slowdown in sales from a peak last year, a source at a group company told Reuters on Monday.

Toyota, the world's biggest automaker, had been building a combined 50,000 Priuses a month on average at two Japanese factories since the third-generation model debuted last May. That will drop to about 45,000 units from March, the source said, declining to be identified because Toyota does not make those production plans public.

Global sales of the Prius continue to grow from the year before, but in February dropped about 40 percent in the United States compared with a peak in October.

The third-generation Prius has topped Japan's best-selling chart for the past nine months thanks to generous subsidies and tax incentives on fuel-efficient models. Customers placing an order today still wait more than three months for delivery, but that is down from eight months at the time of launch.

(Reporting by Yoshifumi Takemoto and Chang-Ran Kim)