Toyota today launched its first small car in India, Etios Liva priced between Rs 3.99 lakhs and Rs 5.99 lakhs. The Etios Liva marks Toyota’s entry into the highly popular premium hatchback segment.
The J variant is priced at Rs 3.99 lakhs and the G variant is priced at Rs 4.59 lakhs. This will make the 1.2-litre car from the world’s top carmaker competitive, the fastest-growing segment in the 2.5-million Indian passenger car market, and force rivals to consider price cuts.
Toyota Motor’s Indian unit expects to sell more than 100,000 Etios sedans and hatchbacks in 2012, Sandeep Singh, deputy managing director of Toyota Kirloskar, said.
“With Liva we will now be a complete manufacturer in India, offering a full range of products including the luxury SUV Prado... Liva is a very useful stylish and dynamic car,” Toyota Kirloskar Motor Managing Director Hiroshi Nakagawa told reporters.
The company had earlier deferred its launch from April to June. The decision was taken to reduce the long waiting period resulting from the overwhelming response received for the Etios, it added.
The concept vehicles of Etios and Etios Liva were first unveiled at Auto Expo last year in Delhi and later travelled to across the country with the ‘Toyota Q-World’ reaching out to more than one lakh prospective customers, Toyota said.
“The Etios has been very well received by our customers across the market. We have delivered more than 20,000 cars as on date,” Toyota Kirloskar Motor DMD Marketing Sandeep Singh said.
Toyota Etios, starting at Rs 4.96 lakh, has got a big response and the company has already delivered over 20,000 Etios to customers with around 10,000 units more on booking list. The company expects Liva to get an even better response. Toyota has followed a topdown approach in India after launching its bigger vehicles like Camry sedan and expensive SUVs like Prado and Land Cruiser before rolling out Etios and now Liva.
It has enjoyed fair success so far with major models like Innova and Fortuner being segment leader netting over 50 per cent market share in the segments. The expansion in portfolio and overall sales will help Toyota expand its used car business. Maruti sells 20-22 per cent of its new cars from its used car business True Value and Toyota plans to reach the same level by 2013 from its U-Trust business.
The company will launch used car business in 15 outlets by the end of this year and expand its sales network to over 150 dealerships. Toyota Kirloskar is a joint venture between the Japanese carmaker and the Indian Kirloskar group.