Monday, June 27, 2011

Toyota Etios Liva

Toyota Etios Liva
The world's largest car maker Toyota on Monday forayed into the highly competitive India compact car segment with 'Liva', priced at Rs 3.99 lakh-Rs 5.99 lakh (ex- showroom, Delhi).

The company, which is present in India through a joint venture with the Kirloskar Group , has pitted the latest model against market leader Maruti Suzuki's Swift and Ritz, and some other best selling cars like Hyundai Motor's i10 and i20, Ford's Figo and General Motors' Beat, which are priced at a range of Rs 3.55 lakh to Rs 6.36 lakh in manual transmission.

"With Liva, we will now be a complete manufacturer in India, offering a full range of products from the luxury SUV Prado to the compact Liva, which is a very useful stylish and dynamic car," Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) Managing Director Hiroshi Nakagawa told reporters here.

The company had last year launched Etios, the sedan version of Liva in the country. "We will increase production of the second plant from 70,000 units to 1,20,000 units by next year to shorten the waiting period for Etios and to meet future demand of Liva," Nakagawa said.

The company is currently producing about 6,000 units of Etios and Liva per month and it will be increased to 8,000 units a month by September.

TKM is investing Rs 3,200 crore to set up its second manufacturing facility in Bangalore with an initial installed capacity of 70,000 units per annum and expanding its total production capacity to 2.1 lakh units by next year. Its first plant is also located in Bangalore.

Talking about targets, TKM Deputy Managing Director Sandeep Singh (Marketing) said: "This year our plan is to sell 60,000 units of both Etios and Liva. Out of which, more that 20,000 units will be Liva." He said with both the models, the company will now be competing with 13 products from different rivals in the 'B' segment of the car market.

"Out of the total passenger car market in India, the B segment is about 38 per cent. With the Etios, we are already enjoying 8 per cent of that market," Singh said. He, however, did not specify how much market share the company is aiming for after the launch of Liva.

When asked about introducing diesel variant of the two cars, he said the company is "ready with the technology", but the launch timeline will be decided on customers' demand.

On the possibility of exporting the car, Nakagawa said: "In India, customers' demand and expectations are very high. Our focus is to meet them. Once we meet that demand, we will study other markets, but there is no such plan as of now."

Besides, TKM is setting up a petrol engine plant in Bangalore that will be operationalised in 2012. After this, the localisation level of Etios and Liva will go up to 90 per cent from about 70 per cent at present. The company is also setting up its second gearbox plant, which will have a capacity to produce 2.5 lakh units annually and will be commissioned in mid-2013.

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