Aspirational, the Toyota Etios sedan and Liva hatchback might not be but reasonably successful at the hustings, both these cars definitely are. Japanese automaker Toyota has just managed to put no less than 100,000 examples of the Etios sedan and Liva hatchback on Indian and South African roads thus far, and this means that the low cost car platform has indeed worked for the brand, although it might have fallen well under Toyota’s usually lofty sales expectations. Both the Etios sedan and Liva hatchback are the least priced cars in Toyota’s line up, globally speaking.
The success of the Etios platform has meant that the Japanese automaker plans more such cut price models for emerging markets across the world. While the Etios twins are currently sold in India and South Africa, the car will soon be produced in Brazil as well. Going forward, Toyota plans to build no less than 8 such entry level models for emerging markets across the world, although none of these cars are expected to be cut price versions seeking to be positioned at prices much lower than the Liva hatchback. Toyota, in the past has made it clear that it wants to retain its premium appeal and hence this move is on expected lines.
The brand will sell these 8 entry level products under its own umbrella and will not unveil a sub-brand to sell these cars considering that it already has Daihatsu, for cut price entry level car models. Toyota’s move comes at a time when Volkswagen has just begun selling the Up! hatchback in Europe, an entry level product aimed at garnering big volumes, even as the German automaker aims to be the world’s largest car maker by the end of 2018. Toyota, will unveil the 8 car models by 2015, aiming for car sales of a million by that period.
The specifics of the cars that Toyota will launch in the coming years remains unknown at the moment. A range of car brands across the world are all set to build entry level cars to target a new segment of buyers. The potential of such a segment is immense, especially in a country like India, where the per capita car consumption is still way below the global average. This represents a huge opportunity for car makers with brands with another Japanese automaker Nissan already getting into the fray by reviving the Datsun brand.