Speaking to reporters after flagging off Etios exports to South Africa for the first time, Sandeep Singh, deputy managing director (marketing), said so far the Camry had been imported. “Toyota’s plan is to start assembling at its Bangalore facility from July and to launch in August. We are on schedule,” he said.
Despite an increase in duty, the company decided to go ahead with the plan, while acknowledging a price impact. Singh said, till now, around 300 units of Camry in a year were imported.
“Our focus in India will be semi-urban and rural markets, to support our growth,” he said. The company said the number of dealers would be increased from 173 to 225 by year-end.
Commenting on the localisation, Singh said, Etios localisation was currently 70 per cent and it would be increased to 90 per cent over the next two years. Etios is the largest localised product for Toyota in India. Localisation in other models, like Innova and Fortuner, is around 50 per cent.
On the investment plan, Singh said, as part of the phase-II expansion, the company was planning to add 100,000 units by 2013, with an investment of around Rs 898 crore. This would add to a total capacity of around 310,000 units a year in Toyota’s two plants in Bangalore, he added. It would also investing around Rs 500 crore in engine and transmission facility. “Engine plant would commence by the third quarter of this year and transmission by January-March 2013,” Singh noted.
Meanwhile, Toyota today flagged off its first export consignment of 247 units of the Etios series to the South African market via Ennore Port.
“We are planning to export 20,000 units annually only to South Africa, starting from this year. Our focus will be only South Africa, for now,” added Hiroshi Nakagawa, managing director.
The export model of the Etios and Liva, in petrol variants, are built on the same platform as the original models, which are manufactured and sold in India. Etios is currently manufactured in Toyota’s second plant located in Bidadi industrial area on the outskirts of Bangalore and the export model will also be manufactured in the same plant.