Toyota has received around 12,000 pre-sale bookings for the recently launched entry level sedan Etios in the Indian market. Etios is Toyota&rsquos first attempt to foray into the mass-volume compact segment in the country.
“The number of orders is far bigger than I personally expected,” the car’s chief engineer, Yoshinori Noritake said. “We don&rsquot even have the car in our showrooms yet,” he said.
Toyota plans to double its sales in India next year to 145,000 units, with Etios contributing more than half for that. Production of the Etios begins on Dec. 20 at Toyota&rsquos factory near Bangalore. The Japanese car maker is importing engines and transmissions for the Etios, until local engine manufacturing starts in 2012.
The Toyota Etios sedan is priced Rs 496,000 for the standard model. Noritake, who said he has travelled to India 40-50 times since becoming the car&rsquos chief engineer in 2006, says that the company does not plan to launch the car in lower segment but plans to build brand loyalty with the Etios.
Toyota sold 55,000 vehicles in India last year, and acquired a market share of 2.4 percent. It plans to offer a hatchback version, Toyota Liva, of the Etios in April 2011.