Toyota Kirloskar Motor Private Limited (TKM), a joint venture between Toyota Motor Corporation and the Kirloskar group, is studying the feasibility of launching the diesel variant of its hatchback Etios Liva, according to its vice-president (sales), Sailesh Shetty.
“It (the launch of diesel version) is not going to be a long wait. We are currently studying the market and will take a call on this at an appropriate time,” he told mediapersons, after launching the hatchback in the Hyderabad market on Monday.
Liva, built on the Etios' sedan platform, comes in five variants with a price range of Rs 4.24 lakh to Rs 6.12 lakh (ex-showroom Hyderabad). Shetty said the company was entering the B-hatchback market, which already has 13 players vying for a pie, with Liva.
“We are aiming at creating a strong position in the B-hatchback segment with Liva and expect the new model to increase our share in the overall passenger car market in India from the current 3 per cent to 5 per cent by the end of this year,” he said.
The passenger car market in India registered a 17 per cent growth during January-June 2011 with B-sedan and B-hatchback segments cornering a 38 per cent market share. In the rapidly-growing B-sedan (petrol) segment, TKM enjoyed 21 per cent during the period.
Shetty said the domestic passenger car market had been witnessing a slowdown in growth in 2011, as compared with a growth of 30 per cent last year on account of issues like inflation and petrol price hike.
“We are seeing pressure on the market. However, with the onset of monsoon and the ensuing festive season, we expect the market to grow at between 12 per cent and 14 per cent this year,” he added.
Stating that after receiving good response by Etios, the company had further expanded its production in order to cater to the huge demand, Shetty said the company would ramp up its total manufacturing capacity at its Plant-I (Innova, Corolla and Fortuner) and Plant-II (Etios and Liva) on the Bangalore outskirts to 210,000 units, from the present 150,000 units, by the beginning of next year.
“We are currently utilising 100 per cent capacities, while the localisation of Etios is 70 per cent. We are setting up a new engine plant, which will produce 100,000 units per year starting in the third quarter of 2012, post which the localisation of Etios and Liva will go up to 90 per cent,” Shetty said, adding the company sold 74,000 units across segments last year and was targeting to sell 140,000 units this year.