Japanese car maker Toyota Motor Corp has put on fast track mode the development of a new petrol engine for its just launched multipurpose vehicle Innova Crysta. This comes after the company's sales started declining following a ban on registration of diesel cars with 2,000cc and above engines in the Delhi-NCR.
“We have seen our sales coming down by 800 units a month in Delhi since December after the Supreme Court ban. To address this issue, we have fast tracked the development of a 2.7 litre petrol engine. Our R&D engineers in Japan are working on the new engine. We plan to launch the petrol variant of Innova Crysta in Delhi-NCR markets by Diwali this year,” N Raja, director and senior vice president (sales & marketing), Toyota Kirloskar Motor told FE.
The company on Friday launched Innova Crysta priced in the range of R14.17 lakh and R21.12 lakh (ex-showroom, Bengaluru). Currently, the company is offering an all new 2.8 litre diesel engine with an all new 6-speed manual transmission and another all new 2.4 litre diesel engine with 5-speed manual transmission.
“We are already selling Innova Crysta with a 2 litre petrol engine in Thailand and Indonesia. But for India we are developing an all new 2.7 litre petrol engine, which will be launched first in India. Our R&D engineers are working with Japanese team to develop the new engine,” Raja said.
He said the company sold around 57,000 units of Innova in 2015 as against 60,000 units in the previous year. The company aims to arrest the fall in sales as well as consolidate its leadership position in the high-end MPV market with the launch of new Innova Crysta. The launch of petrol variant will further help the company to increase its hold on the segment, which sees sales of around 35,000 units a month. The MPV market consists of other models like Scorpio, XUV 500, Ertiga and Mobilio among others. Toyota's Innova accounts for around 32% in the MPV market.
“Last financial year, we sold around 139,000 cars. We hope to match the industry expectation of 8-9% sales growth in FY17. The launch of new Innova will enable us to improve our performance in the current year,” Raja said.
Toyota Innova Crysta is priced around R85,000 more compared to the previous model. The top end is priced even higher by R1,90,000 compared to the earlier model, he said. The company has offered its existing customers of Innova to exchange their old cars with the new model. In the last ten days of its roll out, the company has witnessed bookings of 15,000 units and the delivery has commenced from Friday.
The company will continue to retain the old model of Innova for another four months and it has already discontinued the production at its plant in Bidadi near Bengaluru. The company has an installed capacity of 1,00,000 units first plant, where it also produces Fortuner. Of this capacity, 85% will be reserved for Innova Crysta to meet the fresh demand, he added.