Akira Okabe calls Toyota a baby in comparison to Maruti

Saying that there were no changes in Toyota's small car plans, Akira Okabe, senior managing director, Toyota Motor Corporation, expressed his confidence in the Indian market. Toyota Kirloskar, its Indian joint venture, is setting up its second plant here for the compact car.

"While there are no changes in the plans for the small car, in the final stages we may have to rethink the initial investment to adjust to market conditions, keeping the eventual target the same," Okabe said.

Toyota Kirloskar, whivh had yesterday announced the launch of its new utility vehicle, Fortuner, says it expects to sell about 2,000 of these by December end. (See: Toyota Kirloskar launches Fortuner)

Toyota's second plant, with an investment of Rs3,200 crore will be set up by Toyota Kirloskar near Bangalore. The company had recently invested an additional Rs800 crore in the Bidadi plant here. (See: Toyota to invest additional Rs800 crore in Bengaluru plant)

The company has been at work on its plans, with the help of Kaizen philosophy, which had helped it cut down the investment figure before the Qualis launch by 15 to 20 per cent.

''While we are No 1 in the world, we are like a baby compared to Maruti. Profitability is low and scale small, but in three years, with the compact car we expect to grow three folds," Okabe said.