Toyota hopes to cruise with new Prado, compact car

Toyota hopes to cruise with new Prado, compact car

Bangalore: Japanese car major Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) Pvt. Ltd hopes to capture 10% market share in the SUV segment with the launch of new Prado diesel Landcruiser in India, the company’s managing director said on Wednesday. The firm would also come out with a compact car before the year ends.

Unveiling the new vehicle, TKM managing director Hiroshi Nagakawa told reporters that Prado has sold over 1.56 million units in over 170 countries so far and that customer response in India since its launch in 2004 has exceeded expectations. “We are looking at 10% market share in SUV segment with the launch of the new diesel version."

The redesigned Prado would appeal to both genuine SUV buyers and car owners who are looking to upgrade manoeuvrability with interior luxury, he said.

Improvements include a 3.0 litre diesel engine,adoption of Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System for driving stability at city and highway speeds.It has features like 3 zone automatic climate control, multi-information display and DAC (Down-hill Assist Control) and VSC (Vehicle Stability Control).

“Our target audience is active businessmen,industrialists and socialities who want to make a style statement and are in the 35-45 year age group," Sandeep Singh, deputy managing director TKM said.

“We are looking at all major metro cities like Mumbai,Bangalore and Kochi and states of Karnataka, Punjab, and Andhra Pradesh for our sales," Singh said. “Bangalore is a big market for us and we are looking at a sale of 10-15 vehicles per annum."

Giving an insight to the company’s compact car plans, the deputy managing director said,“To begin with we will be manufacturing 70,000 units of the compact car and are looking at a 10% market share within one year of its release."

Toyota is coming out with compact car by December 2010 in India.

Singh said the compact car would be 70% indigenous except for the engine which will be imported from Japan, “unlike the present cars which is only about 30% indigenous". He however declined to reveal the price immediately.

Both the hatchback and sedan version of the concept vehicle of the compact car will be showcased at the Auto Expo to be held in New Delhi from 5 -11 January.