Toyota to roll out compact car Etios early 2011

Bangalore, June 4 (IANS) Japanese auto giant Toyota will roll out its compact car ‘Etios’ for the Indian market early next year, a senior company official said Friday.

‘Our compact car Etios, which has been specially designed and developed for the Indian market, will be launched in the first quarter of 2011, as our second plant is scheduled to go on stream by this year-end,’ Toyota Kirloskar Motor Ltd (TKML) Managing Director Hiroshi Nakagawa told reporters here.

Toyota’s Indian joint venture with the Kirloskar group has set up the second plant at Bidadi, about 40 km from here, at an investment of Rs.1,400 crore (Rs.14 billion) with a production capacity of 100,000 units per annum.

‘The engine for Etios, however, will be imported from our global manufacturing plant in Japan, as the volumes are small to produce them in India,’ Nakagawa said on the margins of the second Global Investors Meet (GIM 2010) here.

The company will launch both hatchback and sedan under the Etios series with 1.2 litres and 1.5 litres petrol engines respectively.

The decade-old Toyota’s Indian subsidiary rolls out multi-utility vehicle Innova and sedan Corolla in the luxury segment from its first plant, whose installed production capacity has been scaled to 100,000 units in 2008.

The company, however, ships Camry in the mid-segment and Prado, a sports utility vehicle, from Japan in CKD (completely knocked down) version and assembles them for the local market at the Bidadi plant.

‘We are hiring about 2,000 people for operating the second plant, which is modular in design to scale the capacity in future. We are targeting to sell about 70,000 units of Etios in the first year of production, as the automobile market in the Indian sub-continent has bounced back,’ Nakagawa noted.

The company also plans to set up a research and development (R&D) centre in India to design and develop a range of cars in different segments for the domestic market and exports in future.

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