Toyota Thailand to operationalise new factory by 2013 end for Eco Car project: Etios Liva launch likely?
Toyota Thailand has invested a sum of 400 Million USD to set up a brand new car factory at Chachoengsao. This factory will have the capacity to built 300,000 cars a year and is being set up to build a small car under the Thai government’s Eco Car project. The Thai govvernment’s Eco Car project encourages the manufacture and sale of highly fuel efficient small cars with low tail pipe emissions in Thailand. The Thai government gives car makers attractive incentives to produce cars under the Eco Car project and car makers like Mitsubishi, Nissan and Honda have already jumped onto the Eco Car bandwagon.
While Honda sells the Brio hatchback under the Eco Car platform in Thailand, Mitsubishi sells the Mirage hatchback and Nissan sells the Micra hatchback. Now that Toyota is all set to enter the Eco-Car project in Thailand, the discussion logically must move to what exactly Toyota will produce under the Ec0-Car project. The Japanese car maker could build the Etios Liva in Thailand, under the Eco-Car project. Talk of Toyota planning to sell the Etios Liva hatchback in Thailand has been doing the rounds for almost a year now and the Ec0-Car project presents a good opportunity for Toyota to begin selling the Etios in Thailand.
If Toyota indeed decides to sell the Etios Liva hatchback in Thailand under the Eco-Car platform, expect this car to be sold with the 1.2 Liter petrol engine as Thailand is a petrol car favoring market, much unlike India, which loves its diesels. The Etios Liva hatchback is also scheduled to make it Indonesian debut in the next few months, even as the car is already available in emerging markets like India, Brazil and South Africa. In all these markets, the Etios has been a slow seller of sorts given the fact that the competition looks and feels much more contemporary than Toyota’s entry level budget hatchback.
In India, Toyota also sells the Etios Liva with a turbo diesel engine, in the form of the 1.4 Liter D-4D diesel motor good for 70 Bhp-170 Nm. The Etios Liva major strengths are its frugal yet responsive diesel engine, spacious interiors and high reliability. The car has a bigger sibling in the form of the Etios sedan, which is essentially a Liva with a boot.