AFP reports that Toyota is planning to enter the Indian small car market by 2006 with an investment of nearly 800 million dollars.

“I would put the time frame for entering the small car segment at 2005-2006. Toyota has small cars like the Aris and Vitz which could be possible candidates for a launch in the Indian market,” Atul S. Kirloskar, vice chairman of Toyota Kirloskar Motor Ltd told AFP.

The report says that an investment of around 800 million dollars would be needed to set up a new factory near the car maker’s existing plant in Bidadi near the city of Bangalore.

The report follows the news that Toyota is planning to introduce the Corolla to the Indian market next year. The car will be manufactured at Toyota’s Bidadi plant and it is expected to be a ‘world model’, with its Indian name and price still not finalised.

However, the small car segment – dominated by Suzuki’s Maruti – is India’s largest.

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