Japanese car-maker Toyota today said it will hire about 1,500 people for its Indian operations by next year as it gradually expands its production capacity in the country.

The company, which is present in India through a joint venture with the Kirloskar Group, is investing Rs 1,650 crore to ramp up its production capacity by one lakh units and for increasing localisation of components by 2014.

“We will be hiring about 1,500 permanent employees by 2012 to meet our expansion demand. In addition to this, we will hire some contract workers also,” Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) Deputy Managing Director (Commercial) Shekar Viswanathan told PTI on the sidelines of an Automotive Component Manufacturers Association (ACMA) summit here.

The company will hire people across various disciplines as the expansion programme gradually unfolds, he added.

TKM currently employs around 4,500 employees at its two facilities in Bangalore, of which 70 per cent are permanent employees.

At present, the company is expanding the combined capacity of its two facilities in Bangalore to 2.1 lakh units from 1.5 lakh units by 2012.

Subsequently, the capacity at the first plant will be hiked further to 1,00,000 units from 90,000 units, while the output at the second plant will be increased to 2,10,000 units from 1,20,000 units.

The firm invested Rs 3,200 crore to set up its second manufacturing facility, with an initial installed capacity of 70,000 units per annum, which is now being expanded to 1.2 lakh units annually.

The company had also announced plans to set up an engine plant and expand its transmissions capacity at a combined investment of Rs 500 crore to cater to demand for its Etios and Liva models.

The company will launch the diesel variants of its small car Liva and sedan Etios in India on Friday.

The firm had introduced the petrol version of the Etios last year, while the Liva model was rolled out in June this year.

At present, the company has capacities in place to manufacture 6,000 units of the Etios and Liva every month. It will ramp up the production volume to 6,800-7,000 units per month by October, including the diesel variants.

Earlier, the company had said it plans to sell 60,000 units of both the Etios and Liva this year, of which over 20,000 units are likely to be the Liva model.

The company has so far sold about 30,000 units of the two models since their respective launches.

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