Toyota Kirloskar Motor, the Indian subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corporation of Japan, would be looking at releasing a hybrid version of its Etios sedan and may look to set up a new production unit for making hybrid vehicles. Two plants of the company are already operational in Bangalore, amongst which the older one makes Innova and Fortuner while the newer one is involved in the manufacture of Etios sedan and hatchback Liva, along with Corolla Altis.
Toyota India looks to set up new plant, plans to make Etios hybrid
At the moment, the company is not looking at launching new models in country, but at tweaking the existing vehicles. The company is firm on the idea that Etios twins have immense potential for doing better in India. These would require certain changes from time to time, as per customer demands. For instance, the Etios Liva TRC Sportivo hatch was launched earlier this year, which uses the larger Etios engine and gets a sporty design as well.
In order to improve demand for existing Toyota models, the company would continue to conduct extensive research prior to the launch of any fresh variants. Vehicles such as Etios and Liva seem to have set the right examples for the company by providing a good mix of reasonable price, high fuel economy and low maintenance. However, one area where the Etios has been criticised is the exterior design. Though the car is excellent in terms of space and overall maintenance, its looks could certainly be improved for better. With the help of hybrid technology, Toyota Kirloskar would look to take the eco-friendly route and reduce emissions, while retaining high fuel efficiency.
In the starting, Toyota Kirloskar may initiate assembly of its Prius hybrid car domestically to bring down the cost in the Indian market. Sandeep Singh, DMD and COO, Toyota Kirloskar, said that the company is in discussion with the governmentto find favourable ways to boost the highly fuel efficient and environmental friendly hybrid technology in India. He further added, "We are conducting a feasibility study of assembling hybrid vehicles in India, but it is subject to the government support. This policy will also help us lay targets & provide a structured roadmap to achieve significant penetration of the efficient and environment friendly hybrid technology in India."