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Toyota Innova Crysta’s STELLAR performance makes India Toyota’s top 10 market

The Toyota Innova Crysta is the biggest hit that the automaker has ever produced, even bigger than the first  generation version. Riding on the sales wave that the Innova Crysta has brought in its wake, Toyota India is now in  the top-10 markets for the Japanese automaker. Toyota was in 11th place last year, and in 12th place in 2016.

Toyota Innova Crysta’s STELLAR performance makes India Toyota’s top 10 market

The Innova Crysta’s launch in that year really changed things for the brand, and the new Fortuner’s launch was the  cherry on the cake. Together, the Toyota Innova Crysta and Fortuner bring more than 7,000 units in monthly sales for  the Japanese automaker. And these cars are not cheap.

The starting price of the Toyota Innova Crysta is nearly Rs. 15 lakhs, and at this price point, no other vehicle  outsells the MPV. The Toyota Fortuner starts at Rs. 27.55 lakhs, and is the best selling vehicle in its category.  Both vehicles are extremely profitable for Toyota.

Toyota Innova Crysta’s STELLAR performance makes India Toyota’s top 10 market

Masakazu Yoshimura, the newly appointed Managing Director of Toyota Kirloskar Motors Limited, had this to say to ET about the Indian arm of Toyota breaking into the top-10 global markets for the brand,

India was number 11 in 2017 – it broke into the top 10 markets in the world for Toyota in 2018. We foresee that it  can potentially break into the top three markets in the future. We need to focus on our customers and ensure that we offer them the right products to participate in this growth. We are jointly working on small cars and EVs (electric  vehicles). Our (own) electric vehicle is coming. We can introduce the EV but we are looking forward to development of infrastructure as well.

Toyota has big ambitions for the Indian market, and this is reflected in the partnership the Japanese automaker has  stitched up with compatriot Suzuki. Starting from later this year, Toyota will begin selling badge engineered cars  from the Suzuki stable.

This partnership is meant to help Toyota break into the affordable segments of the Indian market – an area where the Japanese car giant has traditionally been weak in, and has had limited success with the Etios twins. The Maruti  Baleno will be the first affordable car from the Suzuki-Toyota partnership.

Toyota Innova Crysta’s STELLAR performance makes India Toyota’s top 10 market

We expect the car to be offered only with petrol engines, and enough restyling to make it look distinct from the  Maruti badged model. Also, the Toyota Baleno could get more premium features and a higher price tag for better  differentiation.

The second big launch from Toyota in the badge-engineered space will be the rebadged Maruti Brezza sub-4 meter SUV. The Brezza will also have attributes similar to that of the badge-engineered Baleno. It’ll be Toyota’s first  affordable SUV for the Indian market, in the sub-Rs. 10 lakh segment.

Toyota will offer the next-generation, 2020 Corolla Altis to Maruti Suzuki for rebadging. This sedan is expected to  use a 1.5 liter petrol hybrid powertrain. The Corolla Altis using Maruti badges is expected to be launched in 2020,  and will be sold from NEXA dealerships.