Toyota Motor Corp. has launched Etios, its Indian-built sedan. With the Etios, Toyota is hoping that it will be able to rise the ranks from its lowly seventh place in terms of sales in India, which is Asia's second-fastest growing major economy. At INR496,000 ($10,900), the Etios is Toyota's cheapest offering in India.
Toyota President Akio Toyoda personally unveiled the car in Bangalore, the first time he's attended an overseas car presentation as CEO. He says his firm aims for a full-scale presence in India.
With a market share of 2.8 percent in India in the first 10 months of 2010, Toyota would have to attract customers away from market leaders Hyundai Motor Co., Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. and General Motors Co. Toyota aims to get 10 percent of the market in five to seven years.
Darius Lam, a Bangkok-based analyst at researcher J.D. Power & Associates says Toyota has been slow in getting its act together in India.
Apparently, Toyota realizes that it has to prioritize the Etios as it is the only new car the company did not delay amid the global financial crisis. The Etios is set to compete with Hyundai's i20 and Maruti Suzuki's Swift subcompacts.