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Toyota enters compact car segment with Etios Liva

Special Correspondent


The vehicle is specially developed for domestic customers

Hopes to sell 60,000 units of Etios and Liva this year


NEW DELHI: Toyota on Monday launched its much-awaited premium hatchback Etios Liva, thus making its entry into the highly competitive compact car segment in India.

Four variants

Equipped with 1.2 litre petrol engine that delivers 80 PS of power and gives mileage of 18.31 km a litre, Etios Liva will be available in four variants, priced between Rs.3.99 lakh and Rs.5.99 lakh.

“With Etios Liva, we have now become a complete car manufacturer in India, offering a full range of products from luxury SUV Prado to compact Liva, which has youthful and sporty design, best-in-class cabin space, superior ride comfort and best-in-class fuel efficiency,” said Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) Managing Director Hiroshi Nakagawa. TKM is a joint venture between the Japanese car major and the Kirloskar group.

Mr. Nakagawa said sedan Etios and hatchback Etios Liva, both built on a similar platform, had been specifically developed for the Indian customers. “With Etios Liva, we have now entered the mass volume segment. Our vehicles are now available to all aspirational buyers in the middle-income group. We wish to sell many more vehicles and contribute to the growth of the Indian automobile industry. Entering into the mass volume segment will help us realise this aim,” he added.

Toyota hopes to sell over 60,000 units of Etios and Etios Liva this year, while the target for next year has been fixed at over one lakh units. “We will increase production of the second plant from 70,000 units to 1.20 lakh units by mid-2012 to shorten the waiting period for Etios and to meet the future demand of Liva,” Mr. Nakagawa pointed out.

According to TKM Deputy Managing Director (Marketing) Sandeep Singh: “With both models, we will now be competing with 13 products from different rivals in the B segment of the car market. Out of the total passenger car market in India, the B segment is about 38 per cent. With the Etios, we are already enjoying 8 per cent of that market.”

On plans to roll out diesel variants of the two cars, Mr. Singh said though the company was ready with the technology, the launch of diesel versions would depend on the demand from customers. Similarly, TKM did not disclose its plans to export the two cars. “In India, customers' demand and expectations are high…we want to focus on India only. Once we meet the demand in India, we will study other markets for exports,” Mr. Singh added.

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