Toyota Yaris Hatchback Launch in India Confirmed
Expected to enter the premium hatchback fray in next two years; Will be tweaked for Indian road conditions, says Toyota.
In a move to spice up its so-far mediocre game in the Indian car market, Toyota Kirloskar Motors is planning to bring in its Yaris hatchback in two years time. Speaking to Hindustan Times, the company’s MD Akito Tachibana has admitted that the Yaris will undergo ‘tweaks’ to suit Indian road conditions before its launch in India. The Yaris is the hatchback version of the Vios sedan that is under consideration for India for very long time, and has been spied testing here many times as well. The latest conformation brings renewed hopes on the sedan’s launch as well.
Since the present-generation car is already due for replacement in 2018, the company may wait sometime to bring in the all-new model for launch in India. The may even make India-specific changes to the existing model to replace the existing Liva hatchback. However it may unfold, the new car is unlikely to reach Indian showroom before mid-2018. Local manufacturing of the car is imminent, with engine options sourced from the Etios and Corolla Altis models.
Built on the company’s popular ‘B’ platform, the Yaris is sold in primarily sold in Asian markets. The current-generation Yaris measures 4,115 mm long, exceed the 4-metre threshold. Therefore, the car is fit to compete only in the premium hatchback segment, with the buyers lured on citing superior cabin space and equipment levels. The car is expected to be far better in terms of build quality and fit and finish, something that the Etios and Liva were denied. Poor quality and even tardy design proved fatal to the Etios models in India.
Toyota’s market share is well below 5 percent in India, thanks to its daggy model line-up and lack of India-specific cars in the mass-buyer segments. It’s premium models like Innova and Fortuner constitute a totally different league of styling and quality, and so there are exceptionally successful for more than a decade. They help keep the brand with some composure in India.
Toyota must choose right, India-specific models to gain traction in the popular segments, concurrently ensuring expected product quality and competitive pricing. The Yaris hatchback seems to strike the right cord in this regard, although we have to wait and see how it unfolds.
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H/T Hindustan Times