The Bangalore-based Toyota Kirloskar Motor is confident of selling 70,000 units of its Etios models — sedan and hatchback — in 2011 thereby utilising the full capacity of its new Rs.3, 200 crore (about $700 million) plant.

The company launched its aggressively priced Etios sedan (Rs.483, 000 upwards) early this month and will be launching the hatchback Etios Liva next April.

“Our target is 70,000 units of Etios range next year,” Koji Nagata, executive managing coordinator (marketing) told reporters here Monday, launching the Etios sedan.

“The compact car segment is growing at a faster pace. Next year we expect the segment to log monthly sales of around 80,000 units up from 70,000 units this year. The bookings for Etios within six days of its launch have crossed 6,000. Hence we are hopeful of using the plant’s entire capacity,” general manager (sales) Sailesh Shetty told IANS.

The Bangalore-based company has two plants with an annual capacity of 150,000 units. Plant I with a capacity of 80,000 units per annum rolls out Corolla Altis, Innova and Fortuner.

The Etios sedan will be taking on Tata Motors’ Manza and Maruti Suzuki’s DZire.

According to Shetty, the company will take the number of its dealerships to 150 by the end of this year and based on the demand it may increase the number next year.

He said Etios is the first mass market car from Toyota Kirloskar and it is a major challenge for the company.

“In the premium segment cars it is the owner who decides on the purchase. On the other hand in mass market models it is the family that decides and one has to satisfy the family as a whole,” Shetty said.

According to Nagata, the company will increase the local content in its Etios range from the current 70 percent once its engine and transmission plant goes on stream between 2012-14.

“We will be setting up 100,000 units per annum engine plant and 240,000 units per annum transmission plant at an outlay of Rs.5 billion. The engine plant is expected to go on stream in 2012 and the transmission plant in 2014,” he said.

He said the engine and transmission plants are primarily for domestic production.

Currently the company imports engines for its models from Japan and Thailand.

Nagata said the company was also looking at the possibility of making/assembling Camry Prado, Prius and Land Cruiser models in India but no decision had been taken yet.

Queried about the other varieties — multi/sports utility vehicles and others — that could be made on the Etios{gt} basic architecture, Yoshinori Noritake, chief engineer, Toyota Motor Corporation, Japan, said: “The Etios platform (architecture) can be used to make multi/sports utility vehicles. But currently the focus is on sedan and hatchback models.”

Toyota Kirloskar’s Etios Liva hatchback will compete with Hyundai Motor India’s i20, Maruti Suzuki’s Swift and Ford India’s Figo.

More In: Companies | Business