Toyota has failed to outstrip Hyundai Motors and Maruti Suzuki in the Indian market which cumulatively control approximately 2/3rds of the market share in case of cars priced lower than $7, 000.
Toyota Motors is now betting on high priced yet premium car vehicles which is a significant yet potentially risky move in the Indian market which usually witnessed global automobile companies using smaller cars with no added frills. Toyota is now prioritizing quality above quantity. According to Naomi Ishii, managing director, Toyota Kirloskar Motor India, dual air bags as standard features will add punch to models like the Fortuner and Innova. This will also lead to enhancement of Toyota’s 5% market share in India. He stated how the company does not just want to introduce vehicles that are competitively priced.
Even if Toyota introduces a smaller vehicle, there should be advanced and high tech fuel efficiency, emissions and safety features in the same even if the prices are higher. This will prove to be a new direction for the company. New launches from Toyota over the next three years will be aimed at the higher end where customers desire quality and safety in place of value for money. Toyota is slated to launch a compact utility vehicle and sedan which should be competing with the Honda City.
According to industry consultants, Toyota should be selling approximately 30, 000 sedans in a year and the compact utility vehicles should be selling up to 50,000 units. Toyota could also have a lower segment offering under its affiliate Daihatsu Motor. Toyota has been struggling in the domestic market owing to its inability to make parts locally while competitors like Suzuki have been reducing costs and cutting prices by making in India itself.