Toyota Motors Corporation has announced its decision to enter the small car market in India for the cost-conscious consumers of India.
After having tasted success with a series of utility vehicle like Qualis, Innova, Prado and premium sedans Corolla and Camry, it has now set its target on small car segment. It will develop a small sedan which will compete with Tata Indigo CS and Maruti Swift DZire.
The new small sedan is likely to hit the Indian market by 2010. It will set up a new facility in outskirts of Bangalore for production of the small car at a cost of Rs 1,400 crore. The company has an existing facility in Bidadi near Bangalore through a joint venture with Kirloskar Motors. Toyota has invested Rs 2500 crore in its Indian venture. The company will initially roll out 1 lakh cars from the new facility. They plan to export the car for its overseas market.
According to one of the company official, this was not an India centric project. The cars will be made available for domestic markets while the thrust will be on exports. The sources said that the small car will broadly meet the needs of customers in India. Auto exports analysed that Toyota may use the knowledge of small cars from its wholly owned subsidiary Daihatsu, which is a leading manufacturer for small cars in Japan.
The small sedan is likely to be positioned in the Rs 5 lakh–6 lakh price range. The car will be less than four meters in length and will be available in two versions– petrol and diesel. The petrol version would be fitted with 1200 cc engine and the diesel engine will have a displacement capacity for 1500 cc.
The car will be manufactured with local materials sources from Indian vendors. This will make the car more competitive in the market rules from small cars and entry level sedans. So far Innova has 60 % content sources from local vendors.
Toyota will also upgrade the number of dealerships from the current 78 dealers across India.