Japanese car giant Toyota, on Friday, launched next generation of premium sedan Camry in India at an introductory price of Rs.23.8 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).

The company, which is present in India through a joint venture with the Kirloskar group, will be assembling the car at its Bangalore facility.

“This is the seventh generation of Camry. We will be manufacturing it locally in India so that it can be available easily,” Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) Managing Director Hiroshi Nakagawa told reporters here.

The model was now being manufactured at 10 locations across the world, and Bangalore would be the eleventh production base, he added.

The company has launched the new Camry with a 2.5 litre petrol engine with a 6-speed automatic transmission.

“It will be only in the petrol mode as we do not have diesel in our premium segment across the world. Camry is available only with petrol globally,” TKM Deputy Managing Director (Marketing) Sandeep Singh said.

Camry, which was launched in India in 2002, has witnessed sales of 6,500 units so far.

The earlier version of Camry was priced between Rs.21.58 lakh and Rs.23.73 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).

The new Camry will compete with Honda’s Accord, Volkswagen’s Passat and Skoda’s Superb.

Diesel engine plant

Toyota Kirloskar Motor’s plan to set up a diesel engine plant is held up as it is unable to convince its Japanese parent because of lack of clarity in pricing policy of the fuel in India.

“If you look at the market dynamics in India, there is an increase in the demand for diesel. We have been conducting a feasibility study on diesel engine manufacturing in India but are unable to convince our headquarters,” Mr. Singh said.

“There is no stability of diesel pricing policy, and a company like us cannot keep on changing strategy...it is about going and asking for changing of plan and ask for investment in a new technology,” he added.

Asked about launching of Toyota’s luxury brand Lexus in India, Mr. Singh said: “There is an apprehension about the increase in customs duty...we are still studying the market and we hope to get a clear direction by the end of this year.”

The company had earlier said it would bring the brand into India by 2013 and planned to set up exclusive Lexus showrooms to sell cars and sports utility vehicles of the brand.

Toyota Motor is also planning to launch eight new products, including Etios, in the mid-term.

“We will launch eight new products in the emerging markets and India will be a prominent one. The products will be introduced in the next 6-8 years,” Toyota Motor Asia Pacific Executive Vice-President Vince Socco said without disclosing details.

Keywords: Toyotasedan Camry