Toyota has named and unveiled its new Etios emerging markets car at the 10th Auto Expo automobile show in New Delhi. A couple of illicitly shot photos of a show car being positioned on its stand whizzed around the internet on Monday and were published worldwide.
It will build the Etios at a new plant in India and later, from around 2011, in Brazil.
In India it will target family users with a ‘one class above’ theme. It will be pricier than other local competition but local parts will be used as much as possible to keep costs low. On display at the show are a sedan version with a new 1.5-litre petrol engine and a hatchback with a 1.2-litre petrol motor, also new. Toyota has already confirmed exports and has diesel engines on the R&D shelf for markets such as Europe.
Etios chief engineer, Yoshinori Noritake, said at the show: “I visited many Indian cities and homes to learn the market and to hear from the consumer directly. Over four years, more than 2,000 engineers have been involved in the development.”
Indian production begins late this year and the annual sales target is 70,000 units.
Toyota Motor vice chairman Kazuo Okamoto said: “Our tagline of ‘World First, India First’ represents our choice of India for the global premiere of the Etios concept, following which exports to other countries will be evaluated. India will play a pivotal role in Toyota’s global expansion plans and the time has come for us to strategically accelerate our growth here.”
“With the introduction of Etios, we hope to attain a sizeable market share in India in the shortest possible time,” Sandeep Singh, deputy managing director of marketing at Toyota’s local unit, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, told Reuters. Toyota will expand its Indian sales network to 150 dealers by the end of 2010 from the current 97.
Toyota, which began producing cars in India in late 1999, is a minor player in Asia’s third-biggest economy, producing just 51,133 cars in 2009.