No brand-hit, Toyota sees strong growth in India

No brand-hit, Toyota sees strong growth in India

Bangalore: Brand Toyota may have taken some beating after the Japanese carmaker had to recall millions of vehiles in the US, but in India the company sees no impact and in fact is eyeing a strong growth.

“No impact in India. Our sales have doubled. It’s limited to the US. Each of our vehicles is in short supply (in India)", said Sandeep Singh, deputy managing director (marketing) of Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM), the company’s joint venture with the Kirloskar Group in India.

“Last two months, we have grown by 100%", he said, referring to cumulative sales for January-February 2010 which stood at 11,982 units, a 109% increase over the same period last year.

TKM, in fact, is aiming for more than 25% growth in India in the current calendar year (2010) as it targets to sell a minimum of 70,000 units. TKM sold 55,497 units in 2009.

But Singh acknowledged that the growth in the first two months was over a “very low base".

“So, as we go along (in the rest of the calendar year), the growth may not be 100 per cent. It will taper down", he told PTI.

TKM expects growth to slow-down in April-May as some states have raised VAT and road tax, while the Centre has hiked excise duty, but believes “sales should be all right if the economy continues to do well".

Meanwhile, TKM is happy with the order it has received for Prius hybrid vehicle even though it has failed to get tax concessions from government.

TKM has received orders to deliver 68 units of Prius.

“Government has not given any concession. Nothing has come in the budget. Response is very good. We have said we are not here to sell numbers (Prius).We are here to generate awareness about hybrid technology. We will continue to do that. People are falling in love with this vehicle", Singh added.