Toyota’s compact family car (code: EFC 800L) will be launched in India in two body styles, a saloon and a hatchback. The saloon will be launched in December 2010 or January 2011 and will be followed by the hatchback four months later. However, the concept will be unveiled at the Auto Expo in January 2010. Both the saloon and hatchback will be powered by petrol and diesel engines. A new range of petrol engines has been developed with capacities ranging from 1.2 litres to 1.5 litres. A 1.4 diesel, similar to the motor that powers the Yaris will be common to the hatchback and saloon though its likely that each will have different power and torque ratings.
According to Toyota engineers, the EFC will offer class-leading space at the back and has been designed with Indian consumers in mind. India is the lead country for the EFC and will be the main global production base, followed by Brazil. Toyota has designed and developed the EFC to strict cost targets which it has managed to achieve thanks to high localization and use of the home grown supply base. For the first time, Toyota has not automatically chosen its traditional suppliers as they have not met the cost targets Toyota has set for the EFC’s components.
Toyota has ambitious plans to sell 350,000 to 400,000 cars in total by 2015 which the company estimated should account for 10 percent of the Indian market.
Source - Autocar
To take on the fierce price competition in the mass-market passenger car segment, Toyota's planned small car will be benchmarked against existing hatchbacks such as the Suzuki Swift and the Hyundai i20. It will be positioned at the premium end of the small car market and will be relevant to the Indian buyer's tastes and preferences.
Talking to Business Line, Mr Yoshinori Noritake, Chief Engineer, Product Planning, Toyota Vehicle Development Centre 2, said that the new car being developed by Toyota and due for launch by late next year or early 2011, will be within four metres in length and will be feature a 1.2-litre gasoline engine initially.
The same car platform and the same engine block could be used to develop a sedan with a slightly bigger, possibly, 1.5-litre petrol engine, he said. A diesel engine within the 1.5-litre engine size requirement (for the lower excise duty levy) may follow the petrol version.
Mr Noritake said that the company's development programme is taking into consideration a sizeable level of research that has been conducted on the Indian small car buyer's preferences by TKM. The design will be globally relevant and yet, enable Toyota to keep costs low, while the quality matches the company's global level of quality demands.
Though Toyota is working on keeping costs low by sharing components and by increasing the level of local sourcing, the company is still not going to compromise on some quality parameters.
One of those is reflected in the selection of a four-cylinder engine for the proposed car.
Though a three-cylinder engine may be cheaper to produce, Mr Noritake felt that it will lower the level of refinement of the car and so the choice was not made.
The small car will also be at least 10 per cent more fuel-efficient than a similar-size competing vehicle currently in the Indian market.
Source - IndiaCar