Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) is struggling to utilise its full capacity across its two plants in India. Despite an encouraging performance by newly launched Fortunner and Innova Crysta, the company is yet to see its other models such as Etios, Liva, Etios Cross, Corolla Altis perform to expectations. In an exclusive interview with R Ravichandran, N Raja, senior vice-president and director (sales & marketing), shares the company’s immediate plans to improve the situation. Excerpts:
How has been your performance on the sales front amidst diesel ban and demonetisation?
We had to report a 7% decline in sales of Fortuner and Innova put together for the period between April-August 2016 owing to ban on diesel vehicles in the NCR region, a major market for Toyota. However, with the launch of the new Fortuner and Innova Crysta, the company hopes to overcome the lost momentum as well demonetisation blues. In January we posted 21% growth and in February we hope to post good growth.
It seems that Fortuner and Innova Crysta have been the primer drivers for TKM in the current fiscal. Can you explain?
Yes, both are the prime drivers for us now. We have an order book of over 13,000 Fortuners. It has a waiting period of three months plus. Similarly, we have delivered 61,517 units of Crysta up to January 2017 since its launch mid last year and is commanding an order book with a waiting period of six weeks. These products are being made at Plant I and the plant is currently running with its full capacity of 1,00,000 units per annum. The Fortuner segment size is 2,500 units a month and Toyota holds 70% of the market share in this segment.
Despite being in India for long but you have not attained your full capacity of 310,000 units per annum (across two plants) in India. How you are going to address this issue?
While the plant I is running at its near full capacity, the plant II (with a capacity of 2,10,000 units per annum) is running way below capacity. It’s a concern. We have moved our parent in Japan to bring out strong support in terms of products and other aspects to attain full capacity. We have a number of options.
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Will Toyota Kirloskar look to spruce up exports in a bid to offset the domestic blues?
Yes. In fact, we have been exporting Etios and Livas in a small way to markets such as Nepal and Brunei. We want to explore the Indonesian market soon. We will also look at other right-hand markets too.
What are company’s hybrid plans?
We have recently announced the launch of the full-hybrid Camry. We strongly believe in a complete hybrid.