Toyota developed the Etios platform as a low cost platform intended mainly for emerging car markets like India and Brazil. So, right from the outset, many products being spun out of the Etios platform was a given if the Etios succeeded. The Etios, although not a best seller as many expected it to be is a decent seller and can be called as a success story for the Toyota brand in India. A multi purpose vehicle(MPV) based on the Etios platform is something that is currently under consideration by Toyota.
Another big story is emerging from Toyota and even this time, it is something that will be based on a modified Etios platform. This information was conveyed to us by AutoCarIndia editor Hormazd Sorabjee, who is now in Japan, test driving Lexus cars that will arrive into India in 2013. While plans for the low cost Toyota SUV still seem to be in the early stages, the price of the Mahindra XUV500 competitor is being speculated to be in the 10-12 Lakh Rupee bracket.
At this price, Toyota better give the Indian SUV buyer enough frills and luxury features to justify the pricing as another Etios at that price point would simply not do as the Indian SUV buyer now has the loaded-to-the-gills Mahindra XUV500 Crossover as an option. A five seater SUV at this price point is what will make plenty of sense if Toyota doesn’t cut corners in the name of competitive pricing.
Talking of which, Toyota cut a lot of corners while designing the Toyota Etios in order to price it competitively. This somehow doesn’t seem to have gone down very well with the Indian car buyers who have preferred the Maruti Suzuki Dzire and Indigo Manza to that of the Etios. The Liva too is suffering tepid sales for its dowdy looks, uninspiring design and average feature list. Something like the Toyota RAV4 should do just fine for India at the 10-12 Lakh Rupee price bracket.
With the Etios Sedan and Liva hatchback being wake up calls for Toyota in India, a Toyota SUV in the price range of INR 10-12 Lakhs will be expected to live up to the legendary over-engineering that most Toyota cars and SUVs are renowned for. Quoting the classic Mahindra Scorpio tagline, “nothing else will do”. What say, Toyota?