Japanese car maker Toyota is aiming for more than 25 per cent growth in India in the current calendar year (2010) as it targets to sell a minimum of 70,000 units.

Its joint venture with Kirloskar Group, Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt. Ltd. (TKM) sold 55,497 units in 2009.

“This year, we are looking at a minimum of 70,000 units”, TKM’s Deputy Managing Director (Marketing), Sandeep Singh told PTI here on Saturday.

TKM aims to sell 47,000-48,000 units of Innova, 10,000-odd Fortuner and 12,000 Corolla Altis in 2010, he said.

TKM has decided to come out with diesel version of Corolla Altis, but is yet to decide on the launch time-frame.

Meanwhile, at Toyota ‘Q’ World event here, where the company is showcasing Toyota Etios (its upcoming compact car in India) concept and displaying other company products, TKM Managing Director Hiroshi Nakagawa said the company would hire an additional 2,000 people for its India plants.

The TKM plant in located at Bidadi on Bangalore outskirts employs around 3,000 people. A Rs 3,200 crore second plant is coming up near this location for manufacturing Etios, expected to be rolled out from December.

The Etios sedan version, targetted at small family and businessmen, would compete with the likes of Swift D’zire and Tata Indigo Manza, while the hatchback is being positioned for young people, employed and entrepreneurs and would compete with Swift and Hyundai’s i20, among others, officials said.

The company expects to sell 70,000 units of Etios, which will mark Toyota’s entry into the mass volume segment in India, in the first year of sales.

Mr. Singh claimed Etios would be at least 10 per cent more fuel efficient than its “nearest competitors“.

“We have ambitious plans to export (Etios)”, Nakagawa said, but did not elaborate. Company officials said TKM sees good export potential but is yet to decide on overseas markets.

He said the company’s current production capacity in India is 70,000 units annually, and it has plans to boost it to 200,000, but gave no time-frame.

Mr. Singh said TKM would launch variants of Innova and Corolla Altis in the current calendar year.

He said TKM has received orders to deliver 68 units of Toyota Prius hybrid vehicle. “Delivery started in the last few days“.

Toyota ‘Q’ World are planned to be held in 10 cities across India from January to April this year; six cities have already been covered apart from Bangalore.

Mr. Singh said in view of the good response the event has received; TKM has decided to hold it in 10 more cities like Coimbatore, Indore, Jaipur and Bhubaneswar between April and July.

Nakagawa added: “This (Toyota ‘Q’ World) is an opportunity for us to get a direct feedback from customers across the country, which will in turn help us to further improve our products and services....”

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