Toyota Kirloskar motors India is planning to bring new vehicles in India as a part of its strategy to expand business both in terms of volume as well as market penetration. The company’s most successful products till date on our shores have been a SUV and a MPV. Therefore, there is a probability that the company wants to explore these options rather than experimenting much. They recently tasted failure in the form of Yaris sedan, which has been a big flop in the Indian auto market.
The vehicles expected to be launched by the company in near future could be the Avanza MPV and Rush Crossover. Both of them have been long speculated to come to India and now it finally seems that Toyota is preparing for their India launch.
The Avanza will rival the likes of Maruti Ertiga and the Mahindra Marazzo when launched here. The Rush on the other hand, is a crossover between an SUV and MPV, and would appeal more to urban buyers as an alternative to the Jeep Compass. It will be positioned below the Toyota Fortuner in India. Both these vehicles are expected to be positioned in the Rs. 15-20 lakh bracket.
To avoid further backlashes and product whitewashes, the company had recently collaborated with Maruti Suzuki in a bid to share platforms and reduce manufacturing costs. both the companies will use each others expertise as well as vehicle platforms to launch their own player in the segment. A Toyota branded Vitara Brezza and a Maruti Suzuki Branded Corolla will be among the first vehicles to come out of this collaboration.
N Raja, deputy MD of Toyota Kirloskar, declined to comment on the new MPV and SUV to the EconomicTimes, stating that as a policy it does not comment on future product plans, but said,
There are various products and sub-segments we are studying. The compact SUV and MPV have a strong growth potential, but I cannot say if and when we are launching them.
The vehicles launched by Toyota will be BNSVAP compliant and will be powered by BSVI compliant engines too. Toyota has already burnt its fingers many times in the form of Etios Liva, Etios and more recently the Yaris. Therefore, for now they will target the upper price segment where the Innova and Fortuner are already established players.
Toyota is expected to move away from diesels with the new MPV and SUV. Instead, a full hybrid powertrain consisting of a petrol engine and an electric motor is expected to be offered on the new Toyotas. Currently, both the Jeep Compass and Mahindra Marazzo are not available with hybrid powertrains.
In future as well, there’s no hybrid powertrain in the pipeline for the Mahindra Marazzo and Jeep Compass. So, adding a hybrid powertrain to the new MPV and SUV from Toyota would help the automaker differentiate its vehicles better.
The Avanza will be aimed more towards the mass volume customer group while the Rush will be positioned as a premium crossover in its segment. The SUV segment in India has shown good growth since some time and it is expected to grow at a much better pace in future.
Therefore, it is not surprising to see how all major companies are preparing their own SUVs/MPVs for various price and size segments. However, pricing will be a crucial element for Toyota and if they get it right, the new SUV/MPV could be another success story for them.