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Toyota Kirloskar to export Etios to South Africa

By Motortrend India Staff   |   21 December,2011

Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt Ltd (TKM) on Wednesday said that it will start exporting "Etios" series sedan and hatchback to South Africa in March 2012.

“We are looking at exporting 20,000 units of the Etios series annually,” Hiroshi Nakagawa, Managing Director of TKM, a joint venture between Toyota Motor Corporation and the Kirloskar Group, said at a function at Hyderabad.

The models for export will be based on the Etios platform currently sold in India, but will be developed and produced to fit the lifestyles, consumer preferences, climate, road conditions in South Africa.

Etios will mark Toyota’s first vehicle exports from India, the Japanese company had said earlier.

Nakagawa said the slowdown in growth, inflationary pressures and high interest rates have not hurt Toyota’s sales in India.

“Our business here in India has not been impacted and our market share doubled to 6 per cent this year, driven by robust demand for our Etios and Liva models,” he said.

According to him, TKM sold 3,943 units of Etios and 4,328 units of Liva in November.

Nakagawa said localisation of Etios is at 70 per cent and may go up to 90 per cent once the company’s new plant and a transmission facility in Bangalore come up next year.

TKM is gearing up to introduce its Lexus range of luxury sedans and sports utility vehicles in the Indian market.

“We will start rolling out our Lexus brand here in 2013. Each of the models is carefully being studied. A decision on which model to be launched first is yet to be concluded,” Nakagawa said.

To match the growth of India’s auto market, TKM’s annual production capacity is scheduled to increase from 160,000 vehicles to 310,000 vehicles in 2013.

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