auto major Toyota Motor is planning a low-cost small
car, specifically for emerging markets like India, China,
Brazil and Russia, according to reports in the Japanese
media. To be launched by 2010, the car would have a
1,000cc petrol engine and would cost around $6,500.
The sticker price of below Rs3 lakh in India would pitch
the car against the Maruti Alto, Hyundai Santro and
Tata Indica Xeta.
has been considering a small car for markets like India
for quite some time now. Much of the volumes in emerging
markets come from the low-priced small car segment.
Large manufacturers like Toyota, with ambitions to overtake
GM as the largest auto manufacturer globally, cannot
keep itself away from the small car segment if it wants
to achieve volume growth. So far, Toyota''s products
in India are limited to the MPV and premium sedan segments.
in Japanese newspapers also indicate that Toyota is
open to a broad alliance with Ford Motor. These reports
follow speculation about a meeting between Toyota chairman
Fujio Cho and Ford CEO Alan Mullaly in Tokyo last December
to discuss an alliance. However, any alliance between
the companies would be limited to development of technology
and is unlikely to involve any financial investments.
with Ford in new areas of business would be fine provided
both sides wanted it and the conditions were right",
Toyota president Katsuaki Watanabe was quoted in the
auto manufacturers have been seeking closer ties to
bring down costs and halt the decline in margins. Last
year, GM called off an alliance move with Nissan
Renault after lengthy negotiations. Ford, which is in
the middle of a massive restructiring, is believed to
have considered an alliance with Nissan Renault.