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Toyota Etios production to start in 3rd week of Dec

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Japanese car maker Toyota today said it will begin production of its entry-level sedan Etios in third week of December from its second manufacturing facility in India at Bidadi in Bangalore.

The company, is present in India through a joint venture with the Kirloskar Group-Toyota Kirloskar Motor(TKM).

"We shall commission our second plant in Bidadi by last week of December this year. Initially we will begin operation in one shift," Toyota Kirloskar Motor Executive Managing Coordinator Director Marketing Koji Nagata told reporters.

"From next year it will commence production in two shifts," he said, adding the company has invested close to Rs 3,200 crore in the second manufacturing facility and plant has production capacity of 80,000 units per annum.

"At present, the localisation for Etios is 70 per cent. With the introduction of engines and transmissions in 2012, the plan is to increase localisation up to 90 per cent," Nagata said.

Currently, about 70 per cent of the components of Etios are locally sourced. Only critical components like engines and transmissions are imported from Japan.

The company has proposed to open booking for Etios Liva in April next year.

"Amidst plan to double its sales in India next year to 1,40,000-1,50,000 units, TKM will launch the hatchback Etios Liva next April," TKM General Manager Sales Division Sailesh Shetty said.

The company sells the sedans, Toyota Corolla Altis and Camry, along with the multi-utility vehicle(MUV) Innova, of which sales of its MUV is the highest.

"The company has proposed to expand its dealer outlet network across the country from existing 97 to 150 by end of this month," Shetty said.

The company today unveiled Etios, the B-segment compact car priced between Rs 5.11 lakh to 7.03, ex-showroon Ahmedabad here. The delivery for Etios is slated to begin from January, 2011.

Toyota is present in the premium segment enjoys 11 per cent share in the passenger car segment. The compact car segment-B-sedan and B-hatchback-are the emerging markets with a combined share of 37 per cent.

"With the launch of Etios, Toyota is looking at share of 50 per cent in the passenger car segment," Shetty said.

According to TKM, the sedan and hatchback car market in India has registered growth of 30 per cent this year.

The company has appointed musician A R Rehman as the brand ambassador for promotion of Etios.