Toyota Innova success attracts rivals

Toyota Innova Crysta

Balaji Narayan, General Manager, Sales Toyota Kirloskar Motor India and Shekar Viswanathan, Vice Chairman & Whole-time Director, Toyota Kirloskar Motor India at the launch of Toyota Innova Crysta in Mumbai. Photo: PTI



The Rs 2.5-lakh premium notwithstanding, consumers have continued to give a robust response to Innova Crysta, launched by Toyota Kirloskar a few months ago.

As per data supplied by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) the Rs 13.72 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) costing Innova Crysta was the only model to post a growth in its segment this year.

Innova sales rose 42% during the period April-August even as sales of the rest of the industry declined by 1%. This is despite a steep Rs 2.5 to Rs 4.2 lakh premium on Crysta compared to its predecessor.

The people carrier commanded a share of 38% in the UV2 segment (length 4,400-4,700mm with price upto Rs 15 lakh), according to SIAM data.

It is this growth, which has attracted the attention of rivals particularly utility vehicle market leader Mahindra & Mahindra. The Mumbai-based company is believed to be working on an Innova rival which could be introduced next year.

The maker of Bolero and Scorpio Mahindra's confidence on launching a premium multi-utility vehicle is based on its success with the XUV500, a premium sports utility vehicle. The XUV500 is the largest selling SUV in its category with a price being upwards of Rs 10 lakh.

M&M sales in the UV2 segment where it has models such as Scorpio, Xylo, Bolero Plus and XUV500 dropped 12% in the period uptil August. A spokesperson of Mahindra & Mahindra stated, "As a matter of policy we do not comment on any future products".

M&M has failed to see any huge and sustained jump in volumes with each of its recent launches even as rival products in the same segment saw healthy demand. The KUV100, TUV300 and Nuvo Sport from M&M has seen weak demand compared to Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza and Hyundai Creta.

M&M's previous attempt to establish itself as a strong player in the MUV segment and simultaneously dislodge sedans ended with a disappointment. Sales of the Xylo have dipped to alarmingly low levels forcing the company to revisit plans.