The Toyota Innova is days away from unveiled globally, officially. The brand new MPV from Toyota, which the Japanese automaker is saying has a crossover approach to its design and performance, will be unveiled in Indonesia on the 23rd of November. The new Fortuner, for its part, has already been launched in Thailand, and buyers have even begun modifying the hot, new luxury SUV for off road performance. Coming to India, the Innova and Fortuner are the two most important models for Toyota here. But when will these profit spinning, best sellers be launched in India. We’ll piece together the incoming news flow and try to arrive at conclusions.
Word coming from Autocar suggests that 2016 will be the year when Toyota India decides to focus on the Innova. So, a launch sometime next year could be in the offing. However, Toyota’s keeping mum about the launch timeframe of the Innova. For now, work is on for setting up an engine factory on the outskirts of Bangalore. This factory is expected to build 2.4 liter and 2.8 liter diesel engines from the GD platform. These engines will be used on the new Innova and Fortuner. So far, the engines used by the Innova and Fortuner were direct imports. Local manufacturing of the engines could make these vehicles more affordable to buy, and maintain in the long term.
So, when will the new Innova be launched?
Meanwhile, Toyota has been testing the 2016 Innova MPV on Indian roads for a while now, as these spyshots indicate. Usually, an all-new car or SUV model that is to be manufactured in India requires about a couple of years of testing. In this time frame, local sourcing of parts also happens, with the vendors being brought on board for manufacturing parts. This has happened in case of the new Innova, which is perhaps why 2016 could be the actual launch timeframe. Although Toyota is yet to announce the timeline of the MPV’s launch in India, 2016 seems to be a good bet.
Also see – What is the new Innova all about?
The new Toyota Fortuner, unlike the Innova, hasn’t really been seen testing extensively on Indian roads. This is perhaps another reason why this SUV’s launch is pegged for 2017 instead of 2016. While this means that India will lag behind the South East Asian markets by nearly 2 years to receive this SUV, there’s a silver lining. Since the new Fortuner’s engine is likely to be built in India, Toyota could price the new SUV very close to the outgoing model. Remember, the outgoing SUV’s engine is fully imported. If a sharp price tag happens, new Fortuner sales could continue to rise, and shine, like it always has, right from the day the big Toyota was launched here.
So, when will the new Fortuner be launched?
Meanwhile, adding credence to the theory that the Fortuner is clearly a couple of years away, N. Raja of Toyota, told Motorbash that it would take a couple of years after the global launch for the Fortuner to arrive into India. So, festive season 2017 then? Well, Toyota may bring their big, butch SUV a little sooner, say in early 2017 given the fact that a slew of new luxury SUVs would be launched in the interim. The Ford Endeavour is getting primed up for a launch, while the Trailblazer is already here. Volkswagen is said to be prepping up the Tiguan for India. The Mitsubishi Pajero Sport is scheduled to arrive into India by early 2017.
Also see – What is the new Fortuner all about?