Auto Expo 2010 : Toyota speak

Toyota Motor Corporation unveiled the much-awaited small car that it developed for the Indian market at the Delhi Auto Expo. The car has been showcased to India only so far and will be followed by displays in other world markets shortly. The company has returned to the event after a gap of six years, showcasing a number of products, like the CNG Corolla Altis and Innova and a concept vehicle. In an interview with Swaraj Baggonkar, Toyota Kirloskar Motors MD HIROSHI NAKAGAWA highlights the company’s plans for India, which has become one of the most important markets for it in the world. Edited excerpts:

How much of your production will be exported?
We are considering this vehicle for export in future from India, but we are in the process of studying the market and have not taken any decision so far.

When will the car be launched globally?
We are focusing only on India first. It has been showcased here before unveiling it internationally. Based on acceptance levels from India, it will be launched overseas.

What volumes are you hoping to generate from this model?
We will start production by year-end and aim to sell 70,000 units of the model over a 12-month period by the start of 2011.

What will be the price brand of the model?
At this moment, we cannot disclose the price but we will be able to disclose it at the time of the actual launch.

Moving forward, how many products are you looking at?
We are focusing on only the two products (small car and sedan) for the time being and an announcement about more products will be made at the time of the launch.

What is the kind of growth in sales you are expecting?
We are expecting sales to grow 20 per cent this year (2010) from the 55,000 units sold last year. An additional 70,000 units will come from the new car. So, together, we are expecting around 140,000 units by the end of 2011.

What market share are you looking at?
We are targeting a 10 per cent share by 2015-16.

When will the sedan version of the model be launched?
It will be launched soon after the small car is launched by 2010 end.

Why is it taking so long to launch your first compact car here?
There is no delay. The plant will be ready in 12 months. The new plant is designed to manufacture the new car and other versions based on the small car.