Toyota for renewed thrust on India

Toyota for renewed thrust on India

Toyota for renewed thrust on India

Unfazed by dwindling market share, Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) put up a brave front on Monday saying it is trying to find the missing gap in the Indian market by analysing customer attitude.

“India is really super diversified market with each state carrying its individual character. Here, we will have to find the missing link in Toyota’s product line-up and try our best to satisfy customer demand,” TKM Managing Director Naomi Ishii told reporters.

The automobile industry is reeling under lower sales for passenger car makers despite heavy year-end discounts and special offers for new purchases.

TKM witnessed 12 per cent fall in domestic volumes at 10,648 units during December 2013 from 12,071 units in December 2012.

“Our endeavour is to serve our customers with quality products and not go for volume growth. We are planning to sharpen our customer focus and aggressively target the rural market by starting small outlets across the country. We have already started 30 of them (small outlets),” he said.

“Currently, we have a market share of 4-5 per cent with a customer base of 1 million in India. It is our wish to raise this to 10 million by 2020. But here, we have faced challenges like energy security, emission standards, environmental issues and safety concerns.”

On the unresolved labour crisis at the factory in Bidadi near Bangalore, Ishii said the case is still in court. “We are very satisfied with the co-operation we are getting from the Karnataka government,” he said.

Localisation plans

On further localisation, he said TKM will have to look into the issue of quality and delivery times.

“We now have almost 50 per cent of localisation and it will help us tame currency fluctuation. TKM has good relations with OEMs, but we have to source from our own production facilities spread across the globe,” he said.

To a query on how localisation will affect the company’s investments in India, Ishii said Toyota is looking for sustainable growth in India.

To grab more regional clout in the market, Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) on Monday launched its 11th generation all-new version of premium sedan Corolla Altis priced at between Rs 12,20,838 and Rs 17,11,162 (ex-showroom Bangalore).

Besides, the all-new Corolla Altis comes in four diesel variants priced at between Rs 13,29,162 and Rs 16,90,162 (ex-showroom Bangalore).

Ishii said over 40 million units of the Corolla have been sold across the globe.

“Corolla accounts for one in every five vehicles sold by Toyota in its 76-year history.

It has sold more than 88,500 units since its introduction in India in 2003. We hope to further strengthen the brand to contribute to the growth of the C segment in India.”