Toyota to make cheaper cars for Indian roads
Toyota is intending to make cheaper cars for India which would help India to make it 3rd biggest market for Toyota. In order to implement the idea, Toyota has recently partnered with Maruti Suzuki in India and will be launching the Toyota’s version of Brezza and Baleno. Similarly, Maruti is looking to take on the competition with the Maruti’s version of Corolla Altis.
Toyota is also developing the EV for India but waiting for the infrastructure to be developed. Newly appointed MD for Toyota Kirloskar Motors, Masakazu Yoshimura told media. Per the MD, India’s geography matches with the Europe. One country, several states with different tax & regulatory structure which only complexes the situation. We are currently monitoring & evaluating the needs of customers.
Further MD added that the recent Suzuki-Toyota partnership is done to capitalize on the global scale. We are understanding each other and we are looking to gain some learning from Suzuki as the cost structure of Suzuki is excellent for smaller cars. This will help Toyota in scaling down the cost and make Toyota more accessible to those who have not experienced the Toyota before.
On asking questions about having slow reactions to changes, MD said that they are working on that criticism and moving towards building a team which will be much flexible and will make sure that quick decision is taken. He further added that catering the needs of Indian consumers is the biggest priority as of now. “We are not going for the volumes. We do assess the competition and look for the ways to tackle them but as of now we have some other priorities too.”
Indian population consists majorly of young people and looking for the cars generally which are around INR 10 Lakh. Aim is not churning numbers, but to look after the demands of these consumers and giving them right & safe product. Toyota’s products are highly priced and bringing down the cost is a major concern to make Toyota more accessible.
On the question related to introduction of EV in India, MD told media that they already have Prius in India but it is priced high enough. And due to lack of Infra, not too much people are buying it. We are working on a smaller EV with Suzuki for India, and when the moment will be right, we will definitely bring other EV’s to India.
On future of Toyota India, MD told media about how high the customer loyalty is in India. We are eyeing to make India push into our top 3 markets globally due to high loyal customer base. Globally, Toyota India has the maximum rate of retention. Word of mouth from our current customer will give us potential customer and will help us getting bigger in future.
I think the issues faced in China are very similar to the issues faced by Japan in the past. As the economy grows, we tend to forget environmental issues. All of a sudden, people realize the society is having a negative impact on the mother nature. There is no single answer for India. We have to look at what is best for the market.