Toyota Motor on Monday launched its internationally-acclaimed sports utility vehicle Fortuner in India. The Japanese carmaker, which has a joint venture with Kirloskar Group in India, is also expecting a three-fold increase in its sales in the country in the next four years, particularly after the scheduled launch of its new small car in 2011.

Priced at Rs. 18.45 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), the four-wheel drive SUV comes with a 3.0 litre diesel engine with intercooler turbocharger, offering 171 PS power.

“It has an incomparable combination of luxurious interiors and sporty features for an exciting driving experience. The ‘Toyota Outstanding Platform’ (TOP) that handles all kinds of terrain along with features such as ABS, disc brakes, impact absorbing body and airbags makes it the real SUV,” said Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) Managing Director Hiroshi Nakagawa.

The company hopes to sell over 2,000 units of the SUV in 2009.

According to Toyota Motor Corporation Senior Managing Director Akira Okabe, the Japanese carmaker is aiming at three-fold increase in its sales in next three to four years, where the sales growth will be fuelled by the launch of new small car that is planned for launch in early 2011 and also some new models. Last year, TKM sold 51,000 units, while this year it hopes to sell 52,000 units.

Stating that the company’s sales was likely to remain flat this year, Mr. Nakagawa said in the first seven months of this year, it had sold 25,910 units.

“Once our small car is launched, we are expecting to capture a 10 per cent share of the Indian passenger car market by 2015. Our Rs. 3,200-crore small car manufacturing facility in Bangalore could turn the country a hub for small cars in the future,” he added.

TKM’s Deputy Managing Director (Marketing) Sandeep Singh said the company was planning to expand its dealer network from 90 to 150 by 2010.

More In: Companies | Business