Toyota Kirloskar Motor said it may come out with a diesel version of its upcoming compact car, Etios, to make a mark in the Indian small car segment. Toyota is looking at the Etios as a breakthrough in its India strategy.
“During the Delhi Auto Expo and at other events, we have received lot of customer queries regarding a diesel engine for the car. Considering the response, we are also looking at bringing out a diesel version of the Etios, but nothing has been finalised so far,” Toyota Kirsolkar Motor (TKM) Deputy Managing Director Sandeep Singh told reporters. “The Indian small car market is a huge one where we had no presence so far. The launch of the Etios will mark our break into the strategic market,” Singh said.
Commercial production of the Etios is to begin at TKM’s second plant in Bangalore from December this year and the car will be formally launched in the same month or during the first quarter of 2011. The company will bring out the petrol hatchback variant of the car with a 1.2 litre engine and the sedan variant with a 1.5 litre engine.
The hatchback will compete with Maruti Suzuki’s Swift, Hyundai’s i20 petrol and Volkswagen’s Polo, the sedan version will be positioned along Maruti’s DZire and Tata’s Manza.”
The cars are priced between Rs. 4 lakh and Rs 6.75 lakh. Etios will have a localisation rate of 70 per cent in its component parts.
The car will be made at the Bangalore facility and will have an initial capacity of 70,000 units annually and we will roll-out the same number of Etios during the first 12 months. While India will be the focus market, Toyota will also look at exporting the car later.
The company is also going ahead with expansion of its dealership network to prepare for the upcoming launch of the compact car. By the end of 2011, Toyota will have a total of 150 dealerships across the country, up from 98 currently.