Toyota Kirloskar Motor, in which Japan's Toyota has an 89-per cent controlling stake, is in the process of making refinements in its marketing strategy to reach out to potential customers in the Indian heartland.
The company has, till date, mainly focused on metros and urban centres, and is now gearing up to sell 40 per cent of its cars in the rural markets. Toyota Kirloskar Motor is targeting vehicle sales of 70,000 as compared to 55,000 in calendar 2009.
It is also weighing the option of exporting its small car Etios, which will be available in India from January 2011. With the Etios the company is aiming for achievement of 150,000 car sales in 2011 with subsequent increase in volume to 300,000 -350,000 cars by 2015.
According to Toyota MD, Hiroshi Nakagawa, India, with a robust auto market is a promising growth market for the company. He added that at a time when even US, Japan and EU were facing difficulties, India showed robust car sales through the adverse period. He said that with car ownership at 16 per 1,000 persons, India had a market growth potential of 10 per cent as against 5 per cent in the world market.
Toyota is keen on setting up a research and development unit in India along with a facility to manufacture engines in the country and as of now the Japanese car maker is studying the Indian market before it takes a decision.
As part of its expanding business Toyota will be targeting the rural regions of the country in a big way and will expand dealerships to 150 in 2010. The company has also invested Rs3,200 crore to build a second plant in Bidadi, near Bangalore, which is expected to create 2000 new jobs. The company currently has a 3,700 strong workforce.