Toyota to miss 2011 sales target for India

New Delhi: Japanese car giant Toyota on Thursday said it will miss its sales target in India in 2011 by about 10,000 units on account of production cut that it undertook following the disastrous earthquake and tsunami.

The company, which is present in India through a joint venture with the Kirloskar Group, said it expects to produce and sell 2.1 lakh units next year.

“Earlier we had set a target of 1,50,000 units for this year. But now that has been reduced to 1,40,000 units due to the one month production cut following the tsunami in Japan,” Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) Deputy Managing Director (Marketing) Sandeep Singh told reporters here.

Speaking at the launch of the new variant of the premium sedan Corolla Altis, he said TKM hopes to sell 60,000 units of its sedan Etios and upcoming small car Liva in 2011.

“We are looking to produce 2.1 lakh units in 2012 and will also try to sell all the vehicles,” Singh said.

The company will introduce its much-anticipated small car Liva by the end of this month.

TKM today launched a new variant of its premium sedan Corolla Altis in both petrol and diesel options in the country, priced between Rs 10.53 lakh and Rs 14.77 lakh (ex showroom Delhi).

“Since the launch of the first Corolla in India in 2003, we have been getting very good response for the car. So far we have sold 70,000 units of the car across the country,” TKM Managing Director Hiroshi Nakagawa said.

The company sold 10,400 units of Corolla Altis in 2010, and is expecting to sell 11,500 units this year.

The new Corolla Altis will come with a 1,798 cc engine.

The petrol variant is priced at Rs 10.53 lakh to Rs 14.77 lakh, while the diesel option will be available for Rs 11.46 lakh to Rs 14.55 lakh.

On the issue of long waiting periods, Singh said: “When we launched the Etios, we had about six months of waiting period, which has come down to about two months now following starting the second shift of production in March. By the end of this month, it will come down below one month.”

Besides, the company has recently increased the output of its multi utility vehicle ‘Innova’ to 4,800 units per month from about 4,000 units a month earlier, he added.

Currently Innova has a waiting period of about three months, while customers wait for up to two months to take the delivery of the sports utility vehicle Fortuner.

TKM had earlier announced to invest Rs 300 crore to ramp up its production capacity by 60,000 units to 2.1 lakh units annually by mid 2012.

When asked if the company would export Etios, Nakagawa said: “Our focus is India. But we are currently studying the option.”