Toyota Motor Corp. will introduce eight compact vehicle models made specifically for emerging markets by 2015 in its effort to catch up with leading rivals General Motors Co., and Volkswagen Group, the company confirmed. Last year, Toyota lost its top spot as the bestselling brand in the world. Now, it is seeking to lower its dependence on the mature markets, specifically in Japan, North America and Europe.
Instead, it intends to focus more on emerging markets like India, Brazil and China, where rivals Hyundai Motor Co., GM and Volkswagen have taken the lead. The Japanese automaker is targeting to sell 50% of its automobiles in emerging markets by 2015, an increase from around 45% in 2011 % and 18.6% in 2000.
Yukitoshi Funo, vice president at Toyota, related that there are four or five vehicle manufacturers competing for the lead in terms of sales volumes in the emerging markets. In addition to the Etios model launched in India in December 2010, Toyota intends to bring eight compact cars by 2015 with a combined annual sales target of at least 1 million automobiles in more than 100 countries during that period.
The forthcoming vehicles cars will be available at a price of as low as about 1 million yen or $12,600. These cars will be manufactured in local markets like Brazil, China and India. Furthermore, Toyota disclosed that it is targeting to procure 100% of the vehicle's components locally in order to reduce costs.
This action would need a stronger R&D function in those markets. By 2013, the annual production capacity in emerging markets will increase to 3.1 million vehicles from 2.38 million in 2010, matching the level in Japan, Toyota stated. [source: Autonews]