Toyota has been in the Indian automobile scenario for quite some time and its products like the Qualis and the Innova have been a big hit in the SUV segment giving a tough fight to manufacturers like Tata and Mahindra. Although other Toyota products in the sedan and the hatchback segment have not been a big hit but it would be incorrect to say that they have failed.
In recent times there has been a huge demand in compact SUV segment and small car segment and Toyota does not have any products to cater to such customers. Considering the demand Toyota may come up with more small cars and a compact SUV soon. Although it might happen soon, since at present there are glitches in policies like fuel policy and import tariff, which affects the auto industries and is causing delay in setting up of a new diesel engine manufacturing plant in India or introducing hybrid cars.
In an interview to TOI, Managing Officer, Toyota Motor Corporation, Satoshi Ohiso said, “If you look at our portfolio in India, we have just one small car, Liva. We need more if we have to have big volumes in a fast growing market like India.” Although he did not share any future plans regarding any future products, he did shared that the main agenda for the company is to develop a compact SUV for the Indian market.
“Globally, the compact SUV segment is getting more popular and in India it is also the same. We will definitely have our presence there,” he said. Ohiso also said the company will try to bring more contemporary global products keeping in mind how the Indian customers have evolved.
“We launched the Etios which was developed keeping the Indian market in mind. Today, the Indian customer is more aware of the international trends, they are discerning and our endeavor will be to satisfy them,” he added. The automobile industry in India is one of the fasting emerging markets and Toyota is certainly planning to stay here for long.
As stated by Toyota Motor Asia, Executive Vice President, Bernie O’Connor said, “Globally we are leaders, if you look in other Asian countries like Indonesia, the Philippines as well, we are leaders. Definitely, we have an ambition to be the number one in India as well in the long term,” He also added, “In the long term, we need to have a diesel engine manufacturing plant in India but the lack of clear cut direction in auto fuel policy is something we need to watch out for. We need to see which way India is going,”
“We would have to see how things are (import tariff) before we decide to launch more hybrid vehicles. At the moment it is a very costly proposition to sell our hybrids in India.”
Source – Times of India