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Toyota launches a big bully for Indian roads

In a span of two days, world’s top two passenger carmakers have revised the tenure of achieving identical sales targets in India. After General Motors said that it would achieve 10 per cent market share in India only by 2011 and not 2010 as earlier targeted, Toyota Kirloskar Motor India on Monday said it would hit the same mark only by 2015.

autos Updated: Aug 24, 2009 21:17 IST
HT Correspondent

In a span of two days, world’s top two passenger carmakers have revised the tenure of achieving identical sales targets in India. After General Motors said that it would achieve 10 per cent market share in India only by 2011 and not 2010 as earlier targeted, Toyota Kirloskar Motor India on Monday said it would hit the same mark only by 2015. The company launched its much-awaited SUV Fortuner on Monday.

Toyota admitted that it had been slow in reacting to the Indian market, which has resulted in the delay. “We will be able to achieve our target of double digit market share only after our compact car is launched in late 2010 or early 2011,” said Akira Okabe, senior managing director, Toyota Motor Corporation. “We will probably hit the target only by 2015.”

Toyota has a market share of only 3 per cent in the passenger car market where its country cousin Suzuki Motor Corp is the undisputed leader with an over 50 per cent share. Toyota sold around 51,000 units in 2008-09 and expects marginal growth this year.

“Within 3-4 years, our volumes would be more than three times the current sales with our compact car,” Okabe added.

The company is expecting to sell Fortuner around 2,000 units this year.

Toyota already has two SUVs — Prado and Land Cruiser — but Fortuner is the least expensive of the three and will take head on with the likes of Ford Endeavour, Honda CR-V, Mitsubishi Pajero and Suzuki Grand Vitara.

“The SUV market in India has witnessed extensive growth due to launches in mid-premium range and we expect Fortuner to expand the segment further,” said

Sandeep Singh, deputy managing director, Toyota Kirloskar Motor.