Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM ), Toyota ‘s importer, assembler and distributor in India, does not expect to be greatly affected by the recent earthquake/tsunami in Japan because most parts come from Thailand and Indonesia.
“We are still assessing the situation and would likely be in a better position to comment on that in the next few days,” Sandeep Singh, TKM ‘s deputy managing director, told just-auto.
He said parts for the Indian operations were routed through Toyota ’s subsidiaries in Thailand and Indonesia and there would be no immediate threat to the Indian operations as stocks for the current month are sufficient and components ordered earlier “are also on the way”, he added.
TKM , which recently launched the Etios designed for emerging markets, is gearing up for volume sales by strengthening its dealer network.
“We have been present in 10% of the Indian market but, with the Etios sedan, to be followed by the hatchback Liva, TKM will now contest 50%,” he said.
TKM plans to appoint 150 new dealers by the end of 2011.
The automaker has put back the Liva launch by three months to June due to an overwhelming demand for the sedan version launched recently.
“We have a waiting list of 27,000 for the sedan. Currently, the wait is six months but we intend to reduce this to two months by starting a second shift from April,” Singh said.
TKM has also postponed the formal inauguration of its second Bangalore plant.
The Indian operation is nonetheless continuing to grow according to plan. TKM is investing another US$130million (INR5bn) to hike capacity at its first plant from 80,000 units annually to 90,000 and from 70,000 to 120,000 by the end of this year at its second plant.
“We will hike the combined capacity from current 150,000 units to 210,000 units by year end,” Singh said.
TKM also plans two new plants to make engines and gearboxes.
“The new plant will manufacture 100,000 engines a year beginning 2012 and the second plant 75,000 gearboxes from 2013. TKM already manufactures 150,000 gearboxes a year for export.