The world’s largest car maker, Toyota, has said that it will study the Indian market to launch a hybrid version of its proposed small car Etios which will be commercially launched by the end of this year.
“We are looking at every possible alternative to launch Etios, apart from diesel and petrol variant, we will study the market and demand for launching the car in other fuel options (LPG and CNG) and hybrid mode,” Toyota Motor Asia Pacific President Mitsuhiro Sonoda told reporters on the sidelines of the annual SIAM convention.
He, however, declined to give any timeframe to launch the car in the alternate fuel option. The company, which is present in India through a joint venture with Kirloskar Group, is investing Rs 3,200 Crore to set up its second facility in Bangalore for launching Etios in both sedan and hatchback version with petrol and diesel options by the end of this year.
“We’ll have to discuss the issue of launching with other fuel options with the Government. It will also depend on the availability of infrastructure in the country. We will decide at the appropriate time,” Sonoda said. When asked about exports, Sonoda said the company will evaluate overseas market after consolidating its position with Etios in India.
Toyota’s India unit expects to sell 63,000-64,000 Etios compact cars in 2011, its deputy managing director, Sandeep Singh, said. The Etios has been designed specifically for the Indian market and will be launched towards the end of 2010, according to the schedule announced earlier.