Toyota Intends to Produce Etios Sedan in Brazil by 2012 End

Toyota Motor Corp. intends to begin manufacturing its Etios sedan, developed specifically for this market, in their Brazilian auto market by 2012 end. The company said in a filing with the securities exchange commission of the US, that in August last year, the company had decided to build a vehicle facility in Sorocaba, Brazil.

This facility will likely produce the Etios sedan launched in India, having an annual production capacity of around 70,000 units. The facility is expected to begin production by late 2012.

Toyota is present in the Indian auto market, through its joint venture with Kirloskar Group, Toyota Kirloskar Motor. The company launched their Etios sedan last December India, which has a big success since then, seeing a strong demand. The company also launched their hatchback Liva variant last month.

Around 4,000 engineers were involved in developing the Toyota Etios sedan over a period of five years. Officials from the company maintained that serving the Indian auto market remained their main priority, while exports came second. The company has also invested a total of INR 3,200 crores for opening their second plant in Bangalore to produce the Etios sedan powered by a petrol 1.5l engine. Meanwhile, the Liva hatchback is equipped with a petrol 1.2l engine. following strong demand for their Etios sedan, the company hopes to expand production capacity at their second plant from 70,000 vehicles per annum to 1,20,000 vehicles per annum.

TKM currently produces around 6,000 models of the Liva and Etios a month, which will be raised to 8,000 models in a month, by Sept. They intend to sell around 60,000 models of both the Liva hatchback and Etios sedan this year, of which Liva will account for 20,000 models.

Toyota Plans to Sell About 100,000 Etios Models in 2012

Toyota has announced that they expect to sell above 100,000 Etios sedan, hatchbacks in the next year. The company also announced that they want to increase their production capacity per year to 210,000 models in India by mid 2012, from the current 150,000 vehicles, to meet the increasing demand for their just launched Etios sedan.

The total investment that the company plans to make for increasing the production capacity at their plants is around 4.9bn yen or $60.9mn, according to Toyota. The company currently has production capacity totaling 150,000 models per year, and roll out brands like the Etios, Fortuner, Innova and Corrolla Alits in India.

On Monday, the company launched their much delayed Liva hatchback at a starting price of INR 3.99 lakhs, with a total of 5 variants to choose from.

New Rs 500 crore engine plant for Toyota in India

Toyota Kirloskar Motors, on seeing the unprecedented demand for its Toyota Etios sedan, has stepped on the gas and are constructing a new engine plant at its existing Bidadi plant. The Etios sedan currently has long waiting periods of 5-6 months and this is causing the customer interest to wane away. Moreover, the Toyota Etios hatchback, named as Toyota Liva would be launched in April 2011 and if orders for the sedan can be taken into account, the hatchback would be a much more desirable thing.

Currently the 1.5 liter engine for the Toyota Etios sedan comes directly from Tokyo. Once the new engine plant comes up in Bidadi, localization for the Etios twins would be up to 90%. The company may translate its savings to the consumer, thus bringing down the prices of the cars even more than what they already are priced at. Also Toyota are looking to employ atleast 500 more workers for the new engine unit. Also some of the transmission components would be manufactured here. This new plant would only be ready by the year 2012 and from thereon, every year, there would be around 1 lakh engines made from the plant. The production of transmissions would take a bit longer and only by 2013 would the target of 2.4 lakh transmissions would be achieved. As of now the transmission for the Fortuner as well as  the propeller shafts for the Innova are been manufactured in this plant. These parts are also exported to other countries hosting these vehicles.

Pricing announced for the Toyota Etios Sedan

That Toyota Kirloskar Motors were gunning for Maruti Swift and Maruti Swift Dzire with their respective counterparts namely the Toyota Etios hatchback and the Toyota Etios sedan was well known. However the battle between the two has boiled down to such an extent that Toyota Kirloskar Motors have announced the prices of the Toyota Etios sedan and also bookings for the same have been opened from today.

The Toyota Etios sedan is priced bang in the Maruti Swift Vxi territory. Its price, ex-showroom, Mumbai is Rs 4.96 lakh for the base version. It is called as J variant in Toyota Kirloskar Motors parlance. The higher up G and its G version with safety features are priced at Rs.5.46 lakhs and Rs.5.96 lakhs respectively. The all frills top end VX version is priced at Rs.6.86 lakhs. This is by far Toyota Kirloskar Motors’s best competitive pricing in the Indian market. It also competes with other econo budget sedans like the Mahindra Renault Logan and the Tata Indigo E-cs. Price wise, the base variant compares with the base petrol Tata Indigo E-cs.

A.R. Rahman ads about the Toyota Etios sedan namely the Etios Q have been seen aired on various channels. As of now, Toyota Kirloskar Motors have confirmed about a 1000 bookings and the day has just started. What remains to be seen is if Toyota Kirloskar Motors can price the Toyota Etios sedan for so less, then how much lower in the price range can they go for the Toyota Etios hatchback? This is a mystery that only time and Toyota Kirloskar Motors can solve. Watch out this space for more.

In an another attempt to topple the Maruti Suzuki Swift’s apple cart, another major Japanese player, Honda Siel Motors Limited are launching their new small car, the Honda Brio before Diwali next year. The Honda Brio is based on an all new platform and would be a global car. It would first be launched in Thailand, Japan and then India. Honda Siel Motors Limited have clearly anoounced that they had the Maruti Suzuki Swift as the bench mark while building the Honda Brio. Moreover, been a Honda, it is bound to be pricey however Honda Siel Motors Limited have also said that the Honda Brio would have about 70-80% localization and this would enable it to be priced close to the Rs.5 lakh mark for the Indian market. Looking at the size of the Honda Brio, one would definitely wonder if it is worth the Rs.5 lakhs however Honda Siel Motors Limited have laid rest to our fears saying that unlike the Maruti Suzuki Swift, the Honda Brio would be a proper 5 seater and a comfortable one at that. We do hope that this doesn’t go the Honda Jazz way.

Watch out for the Toyota Etios sedan in December

Toyota Kirloskar Motors, inspite of parent company Toyota Motors Limited been the world number 1 manufacturer, hasn’t got a big market share from India. This is primarily due to the fact that Toyota Kirloskar Motors don’t have a small car, which is usually the bread and butter model for most manufacturers. Internationally Toyota Motors Limited have many small cars however for the Indian market, they are building up an all new grounds up model. The first one to be launched would be the Toyota Etios sedan. It is the booted version of the Toyota Etios hatchback.

The main competitors for the Toyota Etios sedan would be the Mahindra Logan, Maruti Swift Dzire, Ford Ikon, Chevrolet Aveo and the Tata Indigo CS. From the view of the car shown at the Delhi Auto Expo, it looks quite similar to the not so low cost car from Renault, the Mahindra Logan. However Toyota Kirloskar Motors don’t want to go the Mahindra way and have invested heavily in vendor development and to also increase localization of components to keep the costs down. In this way, they can price the car at a competitive pricing than the others in this segment.

Well the things going the Toyota Etios sedan’s way are first and foremost, its Toyota badge and then the subsequent promise of excellent quality as well as reliability. Toyota Kirloskar Motors has ensured that they have the bragging rights for the Toyota Etios sedan by signing on the music maestro, A R Rahman as its brand ambassador. Now, we aren’t quite sure if this would spruce up the public interest in the Toyota Etios sedan and only time would tell it. A R Rahman is expected to be endorsing the car both in electronic as well as print media.

When asked the reason for saying yes to been Toyota Etios sedan’s brand ambassador, A R Rahman said that he believes in quality which is created when skill meets dedication, passion meets perfection and insight meets inspiration and Toyota Kirloskar Motors represents all this. He also commented that these are the same values which drive the Toyota Etios sedan and hence he is delighted to be a part of this enterprise.

Bookings for the Toyota Etios sedan start from December 1, 2010 and initially only the 1.5 petrol version of the car would be rolled out. This engine produces 102 Bhp, a segment first. Factor in the Toyota Etios sedan’s kerb weight of 958 kg and you can be rest assured that this would be one fast small sedan. Fuel efficiency would also be class defining though Toyota Kirloskar Motors haven’t given any official figures on the same. There would also be good amount of options as well as safety features on offer. A diesel engine is to may its way much later based on demand. It wouldn’t be a new diesel engine and would be the same one doing duties on the Toyota Corolla Altis diesel. The 1.4 liter unit puts out 77 Bhp and going by the performance on the former, it would be smoking on the much lighter Toyota Etios sedan model.

Prices would start from Rs. 5.28 lakhs {ex-show room, Delhi} for the base variant to Rs. 6.02 lakhs {ex-show room, Delhi}for the fully loaded variant. There would be at least 3 variants on offer.

Technical specifications of the Toyota Etios sedan

Engine Displacement: 1498 cc 16 valve DOHC with VVT-I producing 102 Bhp
Overall Length: 4200 mm
Overall Width Length: 1795 mm
Overall Height Length: 1590 mm
Gears: 5 speed Manual
Ground Clearance: 176.00 mm
Front Brakes: Disc
Rear Brakes: Drum
Seating Capacity: 5 persons
Rear Wiper and wheel covers would be standard