Toyota Motor will give India models with worldwide specifications, its local unit head told Reuters, as it seeks to improve sales in the world’s fifth largest automobile market by appealing to buyers’ significantly aspirational tastes.
For the last 20 years, Japan’s most significant automaker has made cars particularly for India, however it has failed to overtake with Maruti Suzuki India and Hyundai Motor, which together account for around two-thirds of sales in a market manipulated towards vehicles costing less than $8,000.
Toyota has now set its sights on the higher-end of the market, joining other car companies such Ford Motor, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles-owned Jeep and Renault SA targeting a broadening, affluent middle class going to invest in premium cars and trucks such as sports-utility vehicles.
“The Indian customer has changed from Indian regional standard to international standard, and in the next 10 years it will exceed international standards,” stated Akito Tachibana, managing director of Toyota Kirloskar Motor, in an interview ahead of the Auto Expo vehicle show held in India every two years.
“We have to catch up with changing consumers and changing government regulations,” Tachibana stated. “We are now a little effective in India however it is inadequate.”
Toyota’s present market share hovers around 5 percent and its 2 India plants run at about half their capacity to produce over 300,000 vehicles a year.
Passenger vehicle sales in India increased about 9 percent in 2017 to 3.2 million units, market data revealed. India is anticipated to become the world’s third-largest vehicle market by 2020.
Last week, Toyota unveiled the Yaris sedan ahead of the vehicle show. The vehicle, which will take on Honda’s City sedan and Hyundai’s Verna sedan, is anticipated to go on sale after April.