Toyota plans 'strategic' small car to push sales


“We hope that within 3-4 years, we will increase our volume of sales in India by more than three times. Our planned compact car will be a factor in the growth,” Toyota Motor Corp Senior Managing Director Akira Okabe told reporters here.

Indian market assumes importance for Toyota as its operations here are profitable contrary to over US$800 million losses it reported for global operations in the April- June quarter.

The company, which is present in India through a joint venture with the Kirloskar Group, had less than one-fifteenth of sales of the country’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki, which sold 7,22,144 units in 2008-09.

Of the total 15,51,880 passenger vehicles sold in the last fiscal, Toyota could managed to sell only 46,892 cars.

“The compact car will hit the Indian roads by late 2010 or early 2011. We hope it will prove to be a major contributor in our company’s growth,” Okabe said, adding that it is expecting sales to be almost flat this year.

The ‘strategic’ small car would not only help the company to penetrate deeper into the Indian market, but it could turn the country into a hub for small cars in the future, he added.

Also, with motorisation in the country picking up steadily, the company would continue to introduce more models in the coming years, Okabe said.

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