The world’s largest auto maker Toyota Motor Corporation expects half of its global sales in the next decade to come from developing markets such as India, China, Brazil, Russia, Indonesia and Vietnam.
“During the last annual shareholder’s meeting, we had said that future growth prospects depend on three pillars — emerging markets, our ability to maintain what we have achieved in developed markets such as Japan, US and Europe and cutting edge technologies like hybrids and plug ins,” said Yukitoshi Funo, executive vice-president, board member, Toyota Motor.
“Our small car for India — Etios — is extremely important as its success will decide our way forward. At present, emerging markets account for nearly 40 per cent of our global sales. Within the next 5-10 years, I expect it to go up to 50 per cent.”
The Etios has been developed over the last five years at an investment of over R3,000 crore, including setting up of a new plant in Bangalore. The hatchback version of the small car is pitted against Maruti Swift while the sedan will compete with Swift Dzire. While the Etios sedan will be launched in December, the hatchback will only come in the first quarter of next year. The hatchback is expected to be priced at between R4.3-4.8 lakh, the sedan will be dearer by around R50,000.
Unlike General Motors and Volkswagen, Toyota has set conservative sales targets in India. It will produce and sell only 70,000 units of Etios.
“The way we intend to penetrate the market in India is to take small steps and go from strength to strength,” Funo said. “India has very established carmakers like Suzuki and Tata who have serviced the needs of the consumers very well. We do not intend to replace them but to have a compatible relationship.”
(The writer’s travel and stay was sponsored by Toyota)