It is now confirmed that the much-anticipated Toyota small car for India would make an appearance – at least as a concept – at the upcoming 2010 Auto Expo in New Delhi in January 2010.
The company said that hatchback and sedan versions of the small car would be showcased at the Auto Expo. It is interesting that the company is working on both together – although it is no guarantee that by the time the small car is ready for production, the sedan would still remain. Much will depend on the reaction of car buyers when it is displayed.
At this point, the small car is variously referred to as the “Entry Family Car,” “Emerging Family Car” or EFC. We do not know if its a real code name, or an invention by the automobile trade press. Update: The EFC is now called the Toyota Etios.
We have written about the Toyota’s small car plans for India a few times. A few stories you might be interested in reading are Toyota’s small car launch preparations, and Petrol and diesel variants for the Toyota small car. What we have seen over the course of 2009 is a clear indication that all car companies have now fully accepted that the small car market in India is where the volumes and big money is. Maruti Suzuki still rules the Indian small car segment, but things are not going to be very easy for them, say, in 2011 or 2012.
Other companies which are planning small car launches in India sometime during 2010 are Fiat, Ford with its Figo, Hyundai with a small car… and a Honda small car. Remember that Honda and Toyota are two companies that never made a mis-step in India. The sales of the Honda Jazz are low, but it was expected anyway.
Apart from the small car concept, Toyota would also display its upcoming Prius hybrid for India at the Auto Expo 2010. Another product expected is a low-end MPV, positioned below the Toyota Innova, which will compete against the Xylo and the Chevrolet Tavera. It is said that this might be the Toyota Avanza – but we have also heard that it is an all-new MPV.
The so-called EFC small car will be manufactured in India, but is likely to be exported to Brazil and China, and possibly to even more cost-sentitive markets across the world. Vietnam and Indonesia are also likely candidates along with more Latin American countries. The EFC will be the cheapest car from Toyota anywhere in the world.
Meanwhile, Dentsu Communications has been given the advertising contract for the Toyota small car as well as the Toyota Prius.