Toyota expects to clock best-ever sales in India next year driven by demand for new hybrid vehicles

Japanese auto major Toyota – which operates in a joint venture Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) with the Kirloskar Group – is expecting to clock best-ever sales in the country next year, driven by demand for newly launched hybrid vehicles, Toyota Hyryder and Innova Hycross.

The company clocked record sales of 172,241 units a decade back in 2012.

“We will be much better (this year) than what we did (in 2021). The new models are giving us good push”, Toyota Kirloskar Motor Managing Director Masakazu Yoshimura told ET, adding that the company has total installed production capacity of 310,000 units and is ‘on its way’ to utilize it fully.

TKM sold 149,107 vehicles in the local market in the first 11 months of the year. The company had sold 130,76 units in 2021. Apart from local sales, work is also on to begin exports of the Hyryder to West Asia and Africa. If the vehicle is received well by consumers overseas, TKM will explore further opportunities to scale up shipments from India.
Yoshimura said disruptions in operations in the aftermath of the pandemic resulted in the creation of pent-up demand in the local market, which has been driving sales of passenger vehicles. “Next year, it (the pace of demand) will cool down a bit. There will be ups and downs. But long-term, the automobile industry (in India) will grow.”

Overall, Yoshimura said customer acceptance of the company’s strong hybrid technology has been ‘motivating.’ Toyota will continue to introduce electrified vehicles in the market to shore up volumes sustainably in India. “The strong hybrid (in Hyryder) has received a sensational response and given good motivation, not only to us, but also to our suppliers and dealers,” he said.

Yoshimura said once renewable energy accounts for a more favourable part of the energy mix and charging infrastructure for electric cars comes up across the country, the company will examine opportunities to bring in pure electric vehicles. With around 70% of the electricity in India generated from coal-based power plants, TKM feels EVs currently are not an optimal solution to reduce vehicular emissions in the market here.

Separately, Yoshimura said Toyota’s alliance with Suzuki globally is progressing well. Toyota will study country-by-country and test the vehicles it can offer under its own badge. “We are examining what we can (introduce), and what they can offer us from Suzuki. (But) whoever designs or produces the vehicles, as long as the vehicle comes with a Toyota badge, customers should get the same quality and service (they have always got from Toyota).”

Toyota and Suzuki had signed a memorandum of understanding for a business alliance in 2017. Since then, the two companies have been bringing together Toyota’s strength in electrification technologies and Suzuki’s expertise in making compact vehicles for the production and popularisation of electrified vehicles.

At present, under the arrangement Toyota sources and sells premium hatchback Baleno as Glanza and entry SUV Vitara Brezza as Urban Cruiser from Maruti Suzuki India. In turn, TKM manufactures the Grand Vitara for the latter.

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