In the next five to seven years, Toyota Kirloskar Motors, the Indian unit of Toyota Motor Corp., expects to double its sales. This target will be propelled by the Etios cars that will be launched at the end of the year, a top company official told Reuters last Saturday. Toyota developed the subcompact Etios specifically for the Indian market.
The car was showcased at the Delhi auto show last month. Toyota expects that in 2010, its sales will grow more than 15% from 2009, when it had sold 55,497 cars.
Managing Director Hiroshi Nakagawa said in an interview that for Toyota to become a significant player in the volume market segment, it has to get at least 10% market share, which it expects to attain within the next 5 to 7 years.
Toyota currently has a 3% share of the local automobile market. The compact car segment in India accounts for about three-fourth of the total cars sold in the country.
The market is dominated by Maruti Suzuki. The Etios will rival Maruti's Swift hatchback, Hyundai's i20 and Tata Motor's Manza. Nakagawa said that the company is challenging Maruti Suzuki, saying that there are plans to strengthen the product lineup.
Toyota Kirloskar, in which Toyota has a 89% equity stake, is growing its dealership network to about 150 dealers by the end of this year.