Toyota small cars by 2010 for sure

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Bangalore, Nov 4: Toyota Kirloskar Motor Corporation, the Indian arm of the Japanese auto major, will roll out with its small car as per schedule in 2010, TKM Managing Director Hiroshi Nakagawa said on Tuesday, Nov 4.

In a chat with newsmen after announcing Toyota Altis Open Golf Tournament beginning at Eagalton Golf Resorts here from Wednesday, Nov 5, he said that price factor cannot be disclosed now, but the company would come out with small car as announced earlier. Replying to a question he said the compact car planned for release in India would be its own and would not have any association with Daihatsu Motor Co.

"No. This is very much Toyota..", he said denying reports that the small car was proposed to be launched in association with Daihatsu, Japan's largest minicar marker in which Toyota holds 51 per cent stake.

Mr Nakagawa said the compact car project is on track and the TKM plans to produce 100,000 vehicles in the first phase and it's proposed be doubled thereafter.

TKM had announced investment of nearly Rs 1400 crore for its second unit at Bidadi near here, for which foundation stone was laid in July this year.

When asked whether the price of the small car would be around USD 5000, Nakagawa said, "That's a tough question for me" but he added, in response to another question, that "(Tata's) Nano is a different type of car compared to our line-up". He and TKM's Deputy Managing Director (Marketing) Sandeep Singh said there would be no layoffs at its Bidadi plant in the wake of global recession. Even though it faced "some difficulty" now, it has to maintain its business, capacity and employees as the company expects things to improve going forward.

TKM's sales in the first half of the calendar year was good, and the slow-down in the rest of the year would be offset by strong sales of New Corolla Altis, company officials said.

Mr Nakagawa said the company would achieve its sales target for 2008.

Mr Singh said the company had aleardy pilot-tested CNG-variant of Innova and such models would be rolled out in "big numbers" from early next year.

On the impact of global economic meltdown on Toyota, Nakagawa said the Indian market was expected be affected but in the near future it would go up again. "Fundamentally, India is very much strong. Bright future is there," he said.


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