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Toyota hopes to double sales in 2011 thanks to the Etios

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As Japanese carmaker Toyota Kirloskar Motors(TKM) enters the mass segment of the Indian car market with an affordable sedan Etios, and its hatchback variant Liva lined up for the launch in April next year, the company is targeting to double its sales in 2011.

Toyota has launched the Etios sedan around two weeks back, aggressively priced between Rs 4.96 lakh and Rs 6.86 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) and has already received around 11,000 bookings for the car. TKM sold 55,497 cars in 2009, and aims to end this year with a net sales of over 73,000 units. In comparison, the company hopes to sell around 70,000 units of the Etios sedan and Liva hatchback combined in 2011, when net sales will cross 1.5 lakh units. TKM follows a calendar year fiscal.

While the company said the car will be available in showrooms from January, industry sources claimed that the wait for the car if booked now can be close to eight to nine months. This even beats the Etios' closest rival, Maruti Suzuki Dezire, which currently has a wait period of around five to six months. Etios sales is, however, constrained by the production capacity available. TKM can make 70,000 units of the Etios sedan and the Liva hatchback at its second plant at Bidadi, adjacent to its earlier plant. "We are planning to ramp up the capacity at the second plant, but have not yet taken a call as to what would be the exact quantum of the ramp up. This would depend on market response, and we are very optimistic about demand for our latest car as we already have around 11,000 bookings in just two weeks since the launch", said Koji Nagata, executive marketing coordinator director, marketing, TKM. He added that most of the Rs 3,200 crore investment lined up for the second plant at Bidadi has already been made, and the remaining can be made for the expansion.

Toyota Kirloskar currently enjoys only a meagre 3 per cent market share of the overall car market in the country, while it has a 55 per cent market share in the luxury sports utility vehicle(SUV) segment with its Fortuner, while the Toyota Corolla and Innova command a 29 per cent and 30 per cent market share in their respective segments. The company will gain significant market share in the overall car market, and especially in the sedan segment. It has sold only 11,000 sedans in 2010, and was non-existent in the compact car segment.