Toyota is working on updating its least priced cars in the Indian market – the Etios sedan and the Liva hatchback. Both cars will get updates that allow it to meet the upcoming Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessment Program (BNVSAP) and also the Bharat Stage 6 (BS6) emission norms.
Toyota is working on all-new models of the Etios and Liva, which means that these cars will not be discontinued. They will continue to be Toyota’s entry level models in the Indian car market in the new future. Also, the Japanese brand is also looking to go a step below the Liva, and build a brand new, entry level car.
Masakazu Yoshimura, the Managing Director of Toyota Kirloskar Motors Limited had this to say to TheEconomicTimes about the new Etios and Liva,
We have many options — Daihatsu, Suzuki, Subaru, Toyota… We will be able to offer something very unique. We want to explore how we leverage all the four global brands and offer something unique for the Indian market, a solution that can also have a global potential. We are looking at upgrading the Etios and Liva along with a smaller car solution. The future of India is its young people. We have to be very active, we are looking (for a presence) at 70% of the market and we are thinking what we can do. The aim is not just on selling, but delivering on what our consumers want and what is good for them. Our current products are highly priced; our focus is to reduce the cost. In Japan, we like to say we are squeezing a very dry towel. That is the only way we can be more accessible.
The Toyota Etios sedan and Liva were introduced in India over 6 years ago, and are now ripe for a full-model change. While Toyota initially tried to break into the private budget car buyer segment with both these cars, the strategy didn’t find enough takers. Instead, the Toyota Etios and Liva became very popular in the taxi circuit, and to this day are big sellers in the cab market.
Going forward though, the Etios and Liva’s next generation models are expected to be petrol, petrol hybrid and CNG models. The diesel option for the next-gen Etios and Liva is expected to be dumped as getting Bharat Stage 6 (BS6) emission certification will make the cars a lot more pricier.
Both cars are expected to get a full makeover in terms of the exterior and interior. More features are expected to be added, along with a major boost in terms of safety. The current-generation Etios and Liva have been tested to be safe cars, and the next generation models will also be well built, safe cars.
For the entry level model that will sit under the Liva hatchback, Toyota is expected to leverage its partnership with Maruti Suzuki, and roll out a badge engineered model. The automaker also has the option of digging into its global portfolio, and bring in some car from the Daihatsu line-up.