By BS Reporters
To launch hatchback version in April 2011.
With an eye on the growing mid-size sedan category, Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKML) today launched the Etios sedan at Rs 4.96 lakh to take on the segment leader, Swift Dzire from Maruti Suzuki, the country's largest car maker.
Toyota has priced the Etios very close to the Swift Dzire, which costs Rs 4.88 lakh in Delhi (ex-showroom).
The entry segment sedan also has models such as Mahindra Logan, Hyundai Accent and Tata Indigo. The segment size is around 15,000 units per month, with Maruti taking the lion's share of about 65 per cent and sales of 9,500 units every month. This segment, say analysts, has attracted more players as it has posted a growth of more than 20 per cent per annum in the past few years. More models in this segment will be launched by Nissan, Honda, SkodaAuto, General Motors and Ford in the coming years.
The Etios will be available in four variants J, G, V and VX with the top-end model priced at Rs 686,500 (ex-showroom Delhi). The car is fitted with a 1.5-litre petrol engine, with a 5-speed manual transmission. A diesel option will be added a few months later.
Toyota Motor Corporation president and representative director Akio Toyoda said, "India is a key market for Toyotaâ€™s growth plans and the launch of Etios will help the company serve broader range of customers. It is definitely a new milestone not only for Toyota in India, but for Toyota globally."
The Indo-Japanese company intends to launch the Etios Liva in India, which would be pitted against the country's highest selling premium compact, Swift, by April. It intends to achieve sales of 70,000 units of both models in 2011. It currently holds a minuscule share of 3 per cent in the Indian car market with sales of 63,843 units. It now sells models such as Innova, Corolla Altis, Fortuner, Land Cruiser and Camry.
Maruti, meanwhile, has stated it will not introduce any temporary price cuts on its products in segments where Toyota and others have launched their models. It will try to avoid an upward revision in cost affected by spiralling input prices, for as long as possible. It has invested Rs 3,200 crore to set up its second manufacturing facility at Bidadi near Bangalore.