Toyota Kirloskar Motors has always enjoyed a dominant position in two key segments of passenger cars in India, namely MPVs and premium SUVs. The Innova has ruled its segment from day number one, taking over from where the Qualis left. Ditto for the massive Fortuner that outsells the Endeavour 3:1.
No other models from rivals have ever been able to give these two workhorses any major challenge, a reason why these offerings were among a handful of cars on sale without any discount whatsoever. However, the Indian automotive industry is a hard nut to crack and even the Japanese giant has had to bow down in front of stiffening competition.
The sales figure story
We decided to have a look at Toyota’s performance in in the last two years, starting January 2017. Here are some figures:
Peak month: 17,758 units in July 2017
Lowest month: 10,336 units in Jan 2017
Sales in Nov 2018: 10,721 units
Toyota’s November 2018 sales stood at 10,721 units which is 15% less as compared to same month last year as well as October 2018’s performance. Not only this, the last time they sold such low numbers was 20 months away back, in February 2017. India’s 6th largest passenger car marker has certainly taken a hit in the past few months, lowering its market share even further.
The Innova Crysta Story
New rivals: Marazzo, Ertiga, 1.5 lakh discount on Lodgy
Benefits: Upto Rs 45,000
So what’s wrong with the Innova Crysta? The product is perfect but its the competition that’s making life tough for Toyota. The Marazzo, launched in August has been making positive advancements in terms of sales, selling as many as 3810 in October 2018. With a starting price that is Rs 9.9 lakh for the M2 version, the Innova ends up being 55% expensive to buy!
Second and the major factor for the discounts on the Innova is the all-new Ertiga. Priced from Rs 7.4 lakh onwards, its almost half the value and though belongs to a lower segment, the product is so good, it is probably making Innova customers walk into Maruti showrooms. We don’t doubt this as the new Ertiga offers more space for both passengers and luggage than ever before, looks smarter and gets a much better petrol unit with an optional automatic.
No wonder then, Toyota is offering benefits of upto Rs 45,000 on the Innova Crysta to counter newer rivals.
The Fortuner Story
Rivals: Endeavour and Alturas G4
Benefits: Upto Rs 40,000
Although the Fortuner is the epitome of badass SUVs under Rs 40 lakh mark, it is more expensive than its rivals. In terms of the 4×2 automatic variants, the Endeavour Trend is a good Rs 5 lakh cheaper (post discounts) while newly launched Alturas G4 is affordable by Rs 4 lakh. Now while the Ford offering has a smaller engine, it allows customers an entry into the world of big burly SUVs in India. Likewise, the Alturas offers a bag full of extra features, thereby sweetening the deal for customers.
The Yaris and Altis
The new Maruti Suzuki Ciaz and improved Hyundai Verna have made sure the Toyota Yaris stands no chance in front of C segment buyers. Lack of a diesel is surely a sore point but more than that, the competition provides a better value deal with added benefits of space, design and cabin feel. The Toyota Altis likewise has fallen prey to models like Tata Hexa and Mahindra XUV500 that offer more space, more seats, similar features and a lower price point.
If you always wanted to own a Toyota, this is the time. All the models now offer better value and are commendable products. They enjoy a fairly high re-sale value and come backed with Toyota’s legendary reliability and long term ownership experience.