Toyota has been testing the Vios sedan in India to enter the segment dominated by the Honda City and Hyundai Verna. A new report says that the global leader in car sales is mulling to launch a compact SUV and a sub 4-metre sedan in India.
The compact sports utility vehicle (SUV) will be pitted against the likes of the Ford Ecosport and upcoming Nissan compact SUV. Pricing of this SUV will be under INR 10 lakh, which is cheaper than Toyota’s only utility vehicle product, the Innova. The new compact SUV will also be exported to target markets abroad.
According to the report, senior officials from Toyota’s headquarters in Japan have commenced visiting India to understand the local tastes and product requirements. A similar exercise was adopted when it developed its first hatchback, the Etios Liva, and the Etios sedan.
Besides this compact SUV, Toyota is also developing a sub-four metre compact sedan. The sedan might also ride on the same platform as the compact SUV. The compact sedan will lock horns with the Hyundai Xcent, Tata Zest, Honda Amaze and the Maruti Suzuki Swift DZire. As is obvious, Toyota will be pricing it below the Etios sedan.
N Raja, senior vice-president and director of marketing & sales at Toyota Kirloskar said, “What we are requesting our parent company is a plan to hold the customer for life. I have the entry segment where we have the Etios and Liva. Then, the the next segment, where we have the Corolla. There is a gap in between. One opportunity is to get a sedan in between or the popular demand is the compact SUV. The compact SUV will be a good step for us because from there, I can move the customer to the Innova and then to the Fortuner.”
Adding: “The Indian market is evolving and is closer to the developed market stage, so it has to be a global product — global platforms should be the future for us. It wont be India-specific…Product development takes four to five years, global inputs are coming in and depending on the market, discussions are on with R&D (the research & development people).”
via : Business Standard