The world’s number 1 auto-maker, Toyota, said on Friday that it will roll out a number of new compact cars priced around $12,500 in developing nations, targetting annual sales of more than one million in emerging markets by 2015.
The company said it would make eight new cars at plants in Thailand, Indonesia, India and Brazil, priced at “about 1.0 million yen ($12,500; Rs 6.9 lakh) or more.”
“We don’t sell cars priced at 500,000 yen,” Toyota executive vice-president Yukitoshi Funo told reporters.
While the new models are squarely aimed at emerging nations, including China, Indonesia and Brazil, “if customers in the US or Europe like them, I will flexibly think about (selling them there),” Funo added.
He offered few details, but said the new cars will have an “excitement” factor.
In 2010, Toyota launched its Etios compact in the Indian market with a base price of about $10,000, still far higher than domestic rivals such as Tata Motors, whose Nano sells for as little as $2,900.
Etios sales have passed 100,000 in India since its debut, the company said.
Etios is part of a broader plan to see increase Toyota’s worldwide vehicle sales come from emerging markets to 50%: it was 45% in 2011. Global automakers are rushing to emerging nations amid stuttering sales in their developed markets.
In an aside, Funo said Toyota was keeping its eye on the market in Myanmar, which is slowly opening up, was “too small” at the moment. “We would like to observe the pace of growth with a positive outlook,” he said.