With the upcoming launch of the Toyota Etios, the Japanese car making giant is facing some tense moments.
“The success of the Etios is very critical for Toyota’s success. We have never developed a car as small as this and we will not do anything smaller than this. It is absolutely important that we succeed with the Etios,” Yukitoshi Funo, Executive VP and member of the board for Toyota Motor said.
Toyota has opted to launch the sedan in December and then its compact hatch Etios three months later.
The Toyota management is doing everything in its capacity to dislodge its high-cost image as it enters the price-sensitive Indian car market. Toyota has already appointed musical genius A R Rahman as Etios brand ambassador, and also increased its dealership network to 150 across the country from 82 in 2008. The Toyota Etios has already seen an investment of Rs 3,200 crore, and is expected to bring in more sales for Toyota than any other car from the company.
“To begin with our focus for Etios will only be India. Next year we might manufacture it in Brazil,” Funo added.
“It has been a challenge to build quality at a lower price. The Indian car market is one of the toughest markets in the world. Customers and car owners are very cost-conscious”, Hiroshi Nakagawa, MD of Toyota’s India unit, said.
Toyota Etios has a localization level of 70%, and the company will start engine and transmission parts production in India by 2012. Till then the power train would be imported and mounted on Etios. The company also plans to launch a diesel engine Etios.