Toyota set to stir up small car biz
The action just got hotter in the Indian small car market. The world’s largest carmaker, Toyota, on Monday debuted in the segment with the Etios Liva that sports an aggressive price tag of Rs 3.99-5.99 lakh. HT reports. Small offering, big difference | The small car contendersautos Updated: Jun 28, 2011 01:03 IST
The action just got hotter in the Indian small car market. The world’s largest carmaker, Toyota, on Monday debuted in the segment with the Etios Liva that sports an aggressive price tag of Rs 3.99-5.99 lakh.
The Liva, Toyota’s smallest and cheapest car till date, will be made exclusively in India.
“With the Liva, we are now a complete car manufacturer in India covering almost all the major segments,” said Hiroshi Nakagawa, managing director, Toyota Kirloskar Motor. “The success of the Etios sedan gives us confidence.”
The Etios sedan was launched last December and was a runaway success.
If the Liva goes the same way, it should pose a stern test for long-time segment leader Maruti Swift. Perhaps fortunately for Maruti, though, the Swift itself is destined for a facelift in the next 2 months.
Toyota though, is aware that its success with sedans does not guarantee a smooth sailing in the crowded, hyper-competitive Indian small car space. The aggressive pricing and Toyota’s unmatched brand equity notwithstanding, Liva is handicapped by the lack of a diesel variant. Currently, there are as many as 13 cars in the compact hatchback segment, which accounts for 38% of the overall market."We know that our entry is late and unlike the sedan, conditions are not as favourable," said Hiroji Onishi, president, Toyota Motor Asia Pacific. "There are many vehicles that can be seen as competition but that is part of our business and we are geared up for it."
The company intends to sell 20,000 units of the Liva this year to go with 40,000 units of its sedan version. It has already sold 20,000 units of the Etios sedan. Next year, it plans to produce 120,000 units of the two cars, approximately half of each model.