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Old 30th March 2015, 12:16   #1
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Default Toyota to join the sub-four metre bandwagon?

The sub-four metre formula for India is one that many manufacturers seek to use. Increasingly congested urban areas and the excise duty benefits that sub-four metre vehicles get, make models under the specification beneficial for manufacturers and buyers alike. Toyota is one player that has been missing out on this segment and if a recent report is to be believed, that could soon change.

According to the report by Business Standard, Toyota has plans to introduce a compact SUV, along with a sub-four metre sedan in the Indian market. Toyota currently retails its cars in India through a JV with the Kirloskar group. The Indian division is looking at retaining customers in the long term, which is why the plan is said to be under consideration. The idea is to gain customers at the entry level and make them upgrade to more expensive models through the years. The compact SUV could serve as a stepping stone to models like the Innova and Fortuner, while the compact sedan could play a similar role for the Etios, Corolla and even the Camry.

The products in question will be developed considering the global implications and they will not be India specific. The Toyota Rush compact SUV was spotted on test in India, but the model is nearing the end of its lifecycle. Additionally, the Rush cannot support a diesel engine, which would make it unfeasible for an oil burner-centric market like India.

Vehicles that meet the sub-four metre criteria are increasing in numbers. Currently, Tata, Maruti, Hyundai and Honda have compact sedans, while Ford will be adding the Figo Aspire this year. Ford has already seen the EcoSport prove to be a one model wonder and more players, including Mahindra, Maruti and Hyundai, will be offering compact SUVs to take advantage of the demand for small-mid size utility vehicles. If Toyota does follow through with these plans, we could soon see a change in the Japanese car makersí strategy in India, which has often been criticized for being slow and unambitious.

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Old 30th March 2015, 12:34   #2
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Default Re: Toyota to join the sub-four metre bandwagon?

This is welcome news. But is it really Rush that is being speculated, because nowhere in the article I see the name "Toyota Rush" and in TBHP itself, the rumours have been squashed.

http://www.team-bhp.com/news/toyota-...-testing-india
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Old 30th March 2015, 13:15   #3
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Default Re: Toyota to join the sub-four metre bandwagon?

If this news is indeed true, Toyota seems rather confused.

Not long ago, due to the underwhelming performance of Etios & Liva, it's VC said -

Quote:
The game plan for Toyota in India has changed
...
Mass market segment is not for Toyota. I think Toyota’s game will be in bigger car segments such as Corollas and Innovas segment. We have tried hard to break the cost-barrier in the small car segment but we have just not been able to do so
Interview

Thread - http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...r-segment.html (Shocking! Toyota India admits defeat in the small car segment)

Now they are back trying to get a piece of the sub-4m pie. This time with a compact SUV, but still a segment or 2 lower than Corolla's and Innova's segment they wanted to focus on earlier. Why the sudden u-turn?
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Old 30th March 2015, 13:26   #4
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Default Re: Toyota to join the sub-four metre bandwagon?

That's a welcome news! (if its true to be believed!! )

Hope Toyota does not barge too much about its 'quality and reliability' lineage and sticks to something that is acceptable (design wise and features wise) and can compete with other players in the compact SUV segment.
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Old 30th March 2015, 13:44   #5
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Default Re: Toyota to join the sub-four metre bandwagon?

I heard that they might bring in the smaller Innova, called Avanza (just launched in the Gulf). Have my doubts about the smaller SUV.

Was reading somewhere that Toyota doesn't have plans at all to bring in anything new this year. Seems like they they have abandoned this market, at least for this year.
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Old 30th March 2015, 16:52   #6
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Default Re: Toyota to join the sub-four metre bandwagon?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tushar View Post
If Toyota does follow through with these plans, we could soon see a change in the Japanese car makersí strategy in India, which has often been criticized for being slow and unambitious.
Even this is a reflection of "slow and unambitious". If market leaders like Toyota think they have to resort to this sub 4-meter "regulatory arbitrage" (sorry I can't think of a more polite way to say this :-( ) , I am afraid it speaks ill of their local management.

Slow and unambitious, as I said.

Given their success to premium, beefy, reliable vehicles, and their utter failure with "made for India" strategy, they should look at the facts in the face and explore products that create new segments that they can dominate. RAV 4 ? Yaris? Sienna?
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Old 30th March 2015, 17:40   #7
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Default Re: Toyota to join the sub-four metre bandwagon?

It appears Toyota is in no hurry to get any product between Etios & the Corolla Altis / Innova or for that matter anything "more premium", in addition to the Etios Liva in the small vehicle segment.

This has been a gap for many years. I had even asked a SA about 1.5 years back and was told that TOYOTA had no plans at the time or at least none that he was aware of at the time.

They may eventually roll out something just to have it in their product line (to get a bit of market share from BRIO, MICRA, CELERIO, POLO etc.), but no sense of urgency. I am not even looking at developed markets like US, UK etc. (where they have a great product line), but even in SE Asia, the Middle East etc. they have a much better product line.

One possible reason could be, the margins they make on INNOVAs & FORTUNERs, "in India", are high enough and they do not have an immediate appetite to fill this gap. Not only margins, but their sales charts also show high numbers for their current product lines, even if it means fleet cab segment (Etios & Innova) are predominantly raising their sales numbers in a positive trend.

Last edited by GTO : 31st March 2015 at 16:12. Reason: Typo
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Old 30th March 2015, 18:05   #8
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Default Re: Toyota to join the sub-four metre bandwagon?

This is a c;ear case of disorientation in the top management and lack of vision.

Both the OP title and this:
Quote:
The game plan for Toyota in India has changed
...
Mass market segment is not for Toyota. I think Toyota’s game will be in bigger car segments such as Corollas and Innovas segment. We have tried hard to break the cost-barrier in the small car segment but we have just not been able to do so.."

are clear contradictions.
The commitment towards India is always a suspect and customer feedback sort of means nothing to Toyota.
They make reliable and hassle free vehicles but then, where is the improvisation of your products?
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Old 30th March 2015, 19:06   #9
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Default Re: Toyota to join the sub-four metre bandwagon?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tushar View Post
The compact SUV could serve as a stepping stone to models like the Innova and Fortuner, while the compact sedan could play a similar role for the Etios, Corolla and even the Camry.
Ok, let me get this straight.

They want to bring something even MORE basic than an Etios, so that the same poor bloke that bought that contraption would one day aspire to buy an Etios. Excellent strategy

Can't blame them entirely for that. As long as our rapper-like obsession with big trunks continue, we are going to see more and more weird sub-4m contraptions.

Last edited by ashwin489 : 30th March 2015 at 19:10.
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Old 31st March 2015, 09:49   #10
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Default Re: Toyota to join the sub-four metre bandwagon?

Toyota is struggling with Etios duos for quite some time. It can so happen that the addition of sub-4 meter sedan / compact SUV by Toyota results in sunset for these siblings and a better product to the taste of Indian buyers is introduced.

Even if Rush is towards end of its life yet there is no harm in introducing it to the Indian buyers if it fits the bill both in terms of reasonable cabin space, benefits of sub-4 meters and aspiration of masses of owning a Toyota, it should be welcomed.

I am sure Toyota engineers are capable of fitting an oil burner in the outgoing Rush to make it "Fit for India"

Cheers
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Old 31st March 2015, 11:17   #11
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Default Re: Toyota to join the sub-four metre bandwagon?

Is that the 2000's RAV4? Whoa! what a great thing Toyota is blessing India with.

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"Shut up and take my money now!!"
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Old 31st March 2015, 12:01   #12
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Default Re: Toyota to join the sub-four metre bandwagon?

Quote:
Originally Posted by i74js View Post
Toyota is struggling with Etios duos for quite some time.
Not sure. The cab fleet segment seem to be helping the Etios (sedan) sales charts of TOYOTA in India for this segment.

Quote:
Even if Rush is towards end of its life yet there is no harm in introducing it to the Indian buyers if it fits the bill both in terms of reasonable cabin space, benefits of sub-4 meters and aspiration of masses of owning a Toyota, it should be welcomed.
Maruti did the same with WAGON-R. Not 100% sure, but I believe it was a 'discontinued' model in Japan but has been a great hit for the Indian customer.
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Old 31st March 2015, 14:59   #13
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Default Re: Toyota to join the sub-four metre bandwagon?

Quote:
Originally Posted by @KP View Post
But is it really Rush that is being speculated, because nowhere in the article I see the name "Toyota Rush" and in TBHP itself, the rumours have been squashed.
This speculated CUV could be based on the Daihatsu concept crossover shown in Indonesia -2014. Makes more sense than the Rush!

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Old 31st March 2015, 18:15   #14
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Default Re: Toyota to join the sub-four metre bandwagon?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tushar View Post

Attachment 1355140

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Daihatsu Terios (Premier Rio is the older version of Terios)

http://www.daihatsu.com/catalogue/terios/short/
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Old 2nd April 2015, 10:01   #15
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Default Re: Toyota to join the sub-four metre bandwagon?

Quote:
Originally Posted by geotracks View Post
Not sure. The cab fleet segment seem to be helping the Etios (sedan) sales charts of TOYOTA in India for this segment.
The Barometer for success in mass market is not catering to Taxi segment alone. If you have seen the pre-launch documentation of Etios and the several dealer presentations for training before launch, TKM were targeting Etios as mass market sedan followed by Liva as mass market hatchback. None of them could bring the desired footfalls even after couple of facelifts - first with change in front seats, suspension setup and reduction in NVH and now the last one with introduction of Airbags in base units and several mild touch-ups and limited editions.

You will appreciate that limited editions are never created for taxi segments.

Etios siblings are dud and this has been accepted by manufacturer, yes there are some sales of these cars on continuous basis and right now there are no new products awaiting launch therefore its better to continue production of these cars at marginal costs instead of shutting the assembly lines which would put burden on the capital invested resulting the reduced margins on other models.

Etios will be on phased out at the first available opportunity by TKM.

Cheers

Last edited by i74js : 2nd April 2015 at 10:03.
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