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Old 15th April 2014, 12:02   #16
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I don't think even the Toyota Innova and Fortuner can hold its crown any longer. Many prospective Innova buyers are looking at the Maruti Ertiga. You can come to know about that looking at the march 2014 sales. With the launch of the Santa Fe even the Fortuner is feeling the heat.

Toyota is taking the Indian market too lightly.
Just look at the new corolla altis. The entire world gets 6 airbags if I am not wrong but in India only 2. Rest of the countries get the 2.0 D-4D diesel mill but we get the 1.4 D-4D,which doesn't hold a candle against VW 2.0tdi engines.
Just look at the Camry Hybrid excellent technology,loads of features but when it comes to safety ..4 airbags!

I am an ardent Toyota fan but it's becoming difficult for me to understand their logic. When I recommend a Toyota to someone I am asked about the no. of airbags or power and I can't answer them.

I understand reliability is a very important virtue but it should not become the only quality of a company.

I think Toyota doesn't value the Indian market at all. The time is not far when Toyota will be looked upon like Chevrolet is looked upon today.
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Old 15th April 2014, 12:05   #17
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Default Re: Shocking! Toyota India admits defeat in the small car segment

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Originally Posted by gemi_kk View Post
Even Honda has given such a statement prior Amaze launch. To be precise, prior their I-detc engine launch [Don't remember exactly where i read], the message was more like they weren't able to crack the market and accepting significant fall in their volumes. After that, there was a storm in C1 and C2 segments. May be they are trying to send a message to the market and to their competition that, "Yes, we are coming back with a Bang!".

But i some how don't feel like they will accept this, Especially when we look at Toyota's history. They already have a very good name in the market. They have a good base and people's trust in them. They just have to launch something, which can tick some bells of the customers list.
I hope it is so. Cant think of Toyota being beat down and accepting defeat. sorry, coming from an ardent fanboy.

Can't understand why a company like Toyota finds it hard to launch a contemporary styled small car when it already has many such in the world market. Or even ones from the Daihatsu stable would have sufficed. The Etios twins are well engineered no doubt, but good styling and feel good interiors would have gone a long way in changing the fortunes of the company.
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Old 15th April 2014, 12:15   #18
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Default Re: Shocking! Toyota India admits defeat in the small car segment

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
I thought so too. Until reading this interview.

Absolutely. However, here, Toyota is admitting defeat and giving up on a very, very important segment. ....

I too second Samurai's point of view. Will believe it when Toyota says that they have given up.

Worldwide Toyota is known for reliable no-nonsense daily-drive cars/ trucks (esp. in North Americas). And that's just what this car is all about. Testimony? the number of cabs in Bangalore with the T-badge + our personal experience.

We have a Liva GD & so far the experience has been extremely positive - we needed a no-nonsense daily drive with minimal cost impact and we got one. No, we are not fans of the shape nor are we happy about a few of the missing features. But then we have noticed that there is a definite push from T to improve on all the shortcomings of the car. The changes are subtle and being added without much fanfare. So for sure the focus is very alive.

All said, it's admirable how MSIL & Hyundai have been able to hold on to being the leaders in this particular segement for so long. Its not just the first mover advantage either.
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Old 15th April 2014, 12:32   #19
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Default Re: Shocking! Toyota India admits defeat in the small car segment

Well, you cannot win the hearts of Indian consumers by reliability alone.

The Etios and Liva lacked x-factor since their inception.

One can understand the reason for cost-cut interiors, but how much does it take to make the exteriors look 2010-ish ?

The Etios Cross might be a game changer if they price it appropriately. Best of luck, Toyota !
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Old 15th April 2014, 12:37   #20
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Default Re: Shocking! Toyota India admits defeat in the small car segment

This is sad news from one of the largest car makers.
When they already had great small cars like the Yaris, Aygo and IQ in the global market (which I believe also qualifies the small car norms in India), would it have been so difficult to launch their existing products rather than make/create a new "only for India" car! A risk that costed them their reputation!
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Old 15th April 2014, 13:14   #21
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Default Re: Shocking! Toyota India admits defeat in the small car segment

What the T badge is famed for internationally is what Maruti has been giving Indian customers for years, viz, hassle free low maintenance driving experience.

What Toyota had to do was outdo Maruti in this regard, and with claims of longer running before oil change, lowest servicing costs, etc they were well placed for the game. Unfortunately, because of the product design, both the Liva and Etios good a 'cheap' image to them. to make matters worse, Toyota didnot really drive home the low cost maintenance issue even in their promotions.
The initial promotions talked about how better the seating position was! But subsequently, perhaps to counter the bad reputation it started with, all Liva adverts talked about better livelier interiors (remember the Virat Kohli ad?). The Liva or the Etios could never match up to the others in terms of interiors or even basic feature list. So why harp on your weakest point???
Toyota never managed to pitch the debate on its own strong points, and is now paying dearly for it.
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Old 15th April 2014, 13:15   #22
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Default Re: Shocking! Toyota India admits defeat in the small car segment

I don't understand why we title this as "Shocking". If you've screwed up, you've screwed and there is no harm in admitting this. This is what one can expect from a company like Toyota. Yes; a company like Toyota should not be making mistakes like these. Who knows, they might give it another shot somewhere down the line. They thought the Etios platform will work and it did not. We all know why.

Last edited by sandeepmohan : 15th April 2014 at 13:23.
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Old 15th April 2014, 13:21   #23
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Default Re: Shocking! Toyota India admits defeat in the small car segment

Toyota already has a hatchback\compact sedan out here in UAE called "Yaris". Powered by a peppy 1.3/1.5L engine, generating the below as per the UAE website:-

Engine : 1.5L, 4 cylinder, 4 A/T
Output : 108 HP / 6000 rpm
Torque : 15 kg-m / 4200 rpm
Transmission : 4 Speed Automatic

Here in UAE, most of the people prefer Toyota\Nissan, don't ask why. After Corolla & TLC, i guess Yaris would be the next hot selling vehicle from the Toyota stables.

Wonder what stops them from launching this out here in India, they have a ready-made product here. Since you have a 1.1/1.2 L powered hatchback's, i guess the Yaris with it's 1.3/1.5L engines would fit right in

[This is a 2009 model pic taken from Google baba]
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Old 15th April 2014, 13:22   #24
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Default Re: Shocking! Toyota India admits defeat in the small car segment

Isnt he just stating the facts? The duo has flopped - folks just bought it for the T badge and now competition just got better and the industry is not hot either.

And they want to focus on Toyota's traditional strength which is the bigger cars. Makes perfect sense - except that they need a good car in C segment.
They will get something going soon - I have a feeling that they are already on it.
Not sure of the hatch avatar though (but surely as an after thought - no-brainer to cut the tail).
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Old 15th April 2014, 13:22   #25
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Default Re: Shocking! Toyota India admits defeat in the small car segment

Frankly speaking, I really don't see what is wrong with Toyota's strategy. However the one thing that amuses me is our obsession to mass market cars. Nothing wrong in spending some more bucks and get pampered. We need not define the success criteria of a car company by their success in cost effective cars.

I think Toyota made it very clear that they are not competing against Maruti or Hyundai ever since they started India operations. Qualis came out in 1999 and it took 11 years to bring out Etios? Look at their lineup and pricing. Yes I agree to the fact that they are known for efficiency and mass production, but not the Indian way. Look at how many manufacturers have burnt their finger entering India market the hatchback way?

Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai are masters of cheap mass production cars (no offence intended, I own one of each). This is their sweet spot. Suzuki has OEM deals with almost every manufacturer on earth for making small cars and Hyundai is the majority share holder for Kia.

I am sure Toyota has a plan and they are known for their execution. I have never seen any manufacturer daring to kill a cashcow to make way for the other like they did with Qualis. Hyundai still drags Santro and Maruti does the same for 800.
If they want to roll in the bigger margin and more profitable segment and they have a plan, no one can stop them. Look at the other side, how much volume Maruti and Hyundai are able to push in 10Lakh+ segment? They never had any issues in past pushing thousands of dead beat Innovas in past and they can continue to do so in times to come.
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Old 15th April 2014, 13:32   #26
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Default Re: Shocking! Toyota India admits defeat in the small car segment

May be its a shock to Toyota, but everyone else knew from the time the Etios and the Liva were launched in India.

I believe, Toyota still has the same India in mind that it saw when it launched its first product here, the Qualis. Blame it on being too conservative or lacking outright decision making capabilities (IMO), Toyota has failed to see how other manufacturers have taken this market so seriously and are putting their best foot forward.

To me, Hyundai is the company to watch out not just in India but also around the world that could pretty soon kick Toyota out of its 'Affordable and Reliable' image and make the Jap giant running for some cover. Wouldn't be surprised to see Toyota learning a thing or two from Hyundai in future!
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Old 15th April 2014, 13:32   #27
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Default Re: Shocking! Toyota India admits defeat in the small car segment

The way they price there products w.r.t. the features and comfort provided, it wouldn't be far when the Innova would also take a considerable hit. The corolla has already seen a decline in sales first by the Cruze and European sedans and now the Elantra. The Innova also is losing numbers to every new MUV/mini SUV being launched. Only the Fortuner still looks totally unchallenged in its segment to be honest.
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Old 15th April 2014, 13:39   #28
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Default Re: Shocking! Toyota India admits defeat in the small car segment

@GTO good article, Toyota should've seen it coming 5 years back.

What surprises me more is why Toyota have thrown their hands up in the air in a way that indicates their intent to specialize only in Innova/Corolla. They created a huge publicity before launching the Etios & Liva and though both caught the attention of fans and admirers of the brand, the minute I saw the specification sheet I was taken by surprise - 990 and 900 kilos of kerb weight respectively for petrol variants inspite of the heavy 1.5 engine. This pointed to cutting weight both by controlling sheet metal usage and minimum insulation components. Initially there were complaints I read by a Bhpian here that the doors completely lacked weather-seals and the diesel engine noise resonated through the cabin since it had only rubber mounts. These are only what I gathered from reviews. Personally I hated (and still do) the central tach display which seems visible easily to just about everyone but the driver. A drivers eyes cannot be distracted by looking at the center all the time. The black/red seats at that time had minimal bolsters and may not have been fancy to beige loving Indian buyers.

Subsequent models have been improved upon, but by then it was simply too late with the direct competition pulling ahead consistently. All due respect to the owners who bought it for their good virtues (space+engine) but as far as Toyota is concerned they simply didn't create the right car to improve upon. A case of complete misreading of the Indian buyer preferences inspite of their experience and heritage.

Last edited by dark.knight : 15th April 2014 at 13:50.
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Old 15th April 2014, 13:52   #29
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Default Re: Shocking! Toyota India admits defeat in the small car segment

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Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
Toyota is capable of cracking the small car segment, but not with unwilling partners like Kirloskar.
Exactly!
This point has been proved like anything by Honda.
With Siel, they were continuously tied down heavily. But once they were free from that relationship, we all know what happened. They just have the Bolero led Mahindra to beat to be in the top trio list now.
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Old 15th April 2014, 13:59   #30
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Default Re: Shocking! Toyota India admits defeat in the small car segment

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Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
It appears to be statement from Kirloskar.
I feel that this is the vital point here, because one of the Kirloskar group company and their dealer were very much indifferent when a vertical pump set supplied by them, costing more than Rs 10 lakhs, failed prematurely; in fact too soon after first start up. What was disgusting was the initial reluctance and it took several phone calls & mails to senior board level persons and several months before it was sorted out.
This issue may not be relevant here being not pertaining to automobiles but what really counts is that it reveals the attitude of Toyota's partner.
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