Growing demand of small cars and compact SUVs in India are making auto makers to launch more cars in these hot segments. Eyeing to become the market leader in the Indian auto space, Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) is considering launch of more auto cars in these rapidly growing segments.
However, the company has not divulged any clear cut information about setting up of a new diesel engine plant in the country owing to the absence of clear policy on fuel and import tariff from the Indian government. "If you look at our portfolio in India, we have just one small car, Liva. TMC Managing Officer Satoshi Ohiso told reporters, “We need more if we have to have big volumes in a fast growing market like India."
Commenting on SUV market, Mr. Ohiso told, "Globally, the compact SUV segment is getting more popular and in India it is also the same. We will definitely have our presence there." He also told more cars are likely to be launched in future keeping in mind the Indian customers. "We launched the Etios which was developed keeping the Indian market in mind. Today, the Indian customer is more aware of the international trends, they are discerning and our endeavor will be to satisfy them,” he told.
However, the auto major is waiting for government clear cut auto policy for the Indian market. Toyota Motor Asia Executive Vice President Bernie O'Connor told, "In the long term, we need to have a diesel engine manufacturing plant in India but the lack of clear cut direction in auto fuel policy is something we need to watch out for. We need to see which way India is going." He further added, "We would have to see how things are (import tariff) before we decide to launch more hybrid vehicles. At the moment it is a very costly proposition to sell our hybrids in India." At present, only Prius is the hybrid model of Toyota available in India.