Innova Kijang May Replace Qualis In India Next Year

Bangalore, Sept 29 | Updated: Sep 30 2004, 05:30am hrs
Will Innova Kijang be the next vehicle to emerge from Toyotas India stable If those tracking the company are to be believed, yes, the international multi-purpose vehicle, somewhere between a SUV and a luxury car is on its way. The model may be introduced in India next year.

While the company refused to comment, sources said Innova would be priced in the range of Qualis, which may be phased out. It would be a better vehicle at the same price, they added.

In an e-mail interview, T Ino, Director Marketing, Toyota Kirloskar Motor said the company was studying the market for new launches and would not like to comment on future products at this moment. He said the company was concentrating on consolidation of our leadership and also on increasing our production capacity to nearly 60,000 by next year.

Innova Kijang - billed as a Euro 2 compliant, plush machine, with plenty of storage space and flexible seating - was launched recently in Indonesia, from where it is slated to export to 21 countries. However, it is doubtful if India will be one of the export markets as the import duties can make quite costly.

Sources said the plan was to make the Innova in Bangalore on the same assembly line producing the Qualis and the Corolla. While not confirming any plans, Mr Ino said: We have a flexible assembly line that can manufacture different kinds of vehicles.

The company currently rolls out a total of 45,000 units of the Qualis and the Corolla at its Bidadi plant.

High-end luxury car Camry is being imported, as numbers do not justify local production.

Earlier, the company had told FE that the assembly line was running to almost full capacity (of 50,000 units) and there was not much room for expansion.

There does not seem to be plans for a second plant immediately, giving rise to speculation that the Qualis may be phased out.

When asked about this specifically, Mr Ino replied that the Qualis was a leader in the MPV segment commanding more than 30% marketshare and We will continue serving the Qualis markets. Meanwhile, the industry is also expecting a diesel version of the Corolla for India.