Subdued demand for the Etios series in the domestic market and poor utilisation levels in the manufacturing capacities have led Toyota Kirloskar to join the list of foreign carmakers focussing on exports.
The Etios series, which comprises a hatchback, sedan and crossover, has had a very tepid response in the domestic market leading to the utilisation level at the plant at a meagre 60%. As a consequence, the company has started to export Etios Liva (a hatch), Etios (a sedan) to nine countries — which includes developing countries like South Africa, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and other Saarc and Asean countries.
Last year the company exported 20,000 units of the Etios series and till June this year Toyota has already exported 9,500 vehicles. The company will look to match last year’s export volumes as Toyota has a huge market globally.
“Though Toyota’s target has always been the domestic market, we have started to export the Etios series from India to nine other countries. The union government’s policies like the crash test and implementing Euro 4 and Euro 5 emission norms will help us export more vehicles from India,” said Narayan Raja, senior vice-president (marketing and sales), Toyota Kirloskar Motors.
In the first quarter of FY16, exports of Etios Liva increased by 64.92% from 3,348 vehicles when compared to 2,030 units in the same period in FY15.
According to analysts, the hatchback segment in India is extremely competitive and one needs to have well entrenched dealership network in order to penetrate the market. Toyota being an internationally recognised company is trying to leverage the brand value to sell its vehicles manufactured in India in other countries.