As the cost of fuel rises and customers opt for diesel variants, Toyota has begun a study to check the feasibility of a diesel Etios variant.
The company’s VP of dealer development and sales division, Sailesh Shetty said that they are very much contemplating launching diesel variants, however, first they want to establish themselves in this market with their new Liva and Etios, and will look into the matter further noting the demand for these cars.
As of now, the Japanese manufacturer, currently offers the premium Altis sedan, premium Fortuner SUV and Innova SUV in both diesel and petrol versions in India.
Industry experts state that with increasing costs of operations and increasing petrol prices, people are opting for diesel variants over petrol. Recently, 60% of Ford’s sales were accounted for by the new premium Figo hatchback that is available in a diesel variant.
During the launch of the Liva, Shetty had said that they would consider producing diesel engines for the Liva once their engine facility was operational. The company is presently expanding their facility in Bangalore with an investment of INR 3,200 crore, for producing the new Etios as well as manufacturing engines for all of their models.
He also said that currently they are importing diesel fuelled motors from Japan. They are also getting their engine facility in Bangalore ready. Following demand, they will also produce diesel motors for the Etios and Liva cars.
Shekar Viswanathan, the company’s Deputy MD (Commercial), said that they have set a target of selling around 60,000 models of both the Etios and Liva this year. He also said that they have decreased the wait period for the Etios by a considerable margin. He added that they are currently focusing on increasing the domestication of the Etios and Liva cars from to 90% from the current 70%.
Following the launch of the Liva in India, the car has already received more than 1,000 bookings. Apart from the Corolla Altis, Fortuner and Innova; the company also offers the Prado, Camry, Prius and Land Cruiser as CBUs in India.