Toyota to expand capacity in India by 50 per cent

Toyota Motor Corp plans to invest $164 million to boost production capacity by 50 per cent at two factories in India at a when time its robust local sales are fast overtaking competitor's.

Vikram Kirloskar, vice chairman of Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt Ltd, the Jspsnese auto maker's Indian unit said, India had huge potential and the company wanted to make sure that it first served this market well.

Kirloskar was speaking on the sidelines of the annual convention of SIAM or the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers in New Delhi yesterday.

Toyota plans to expand capacity to 310,000 vehicles a year at the two factories outside Bangalore, with the bulk of the new capacity dedicated towards the Etios, a range of hatchbacks and sedans, and the Innova, a multi-purpose vehicle.

The company's investment comes as Indian car sales have declined in recent months with the slowing economic growth, rising fuel prices and high interest rates.

Vehicle sales were up 10 per cent to 865,603 autos between April and July as against the same period of 2011,  the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers said, which was much slower than 30 per cent-plus growth rates for the sector in recent years.