According to reports the Japanese car maker Toyota is working on a new C segment sedan for the Indian market codenamed the Toyota C or Toyota Core. The company hopes to turn things around in the sub-Rs. 10 lakh market after the failure of the “made for India” cost effective Etios sedan and the Etios Liva hatchback. The Toyota C should be ready for launch some time in late 2016 and the company intends to take the Honda City head on. This is what Car and Driver reckons the Toyota C might look like.
The Toyota C will be positioned between the Etios sedan and the more expensive Corolla Altis in the Rs. 8-12 lakh price bracket and reports suggest that development work has already begun and the vehicle will be ready to hit the Indian market by end 2016. The platform will be shared with the Etios sedan but knowledge regarding the technical details of the Toyota C is very limited as of now. A spokeswoman at Toyota Kirloskar said the company “would like to refrain from commenting on any future products or plans”.
In recent times the mid-size sedan segment has seen a drop in sales and decrease in popularity mainly because of smaller SUVs such as the Renault Duster, Mahindra XUV500, Ford EcoSport and the likes being given preference. But according to industry experts the mid-size sedans will see a rise in popularity based on the general trend and the withdrawal of subsidies offered offered on diesel fuel.
Toyota aims to sell 40,000 to 50,000 units of the Toyota C annually which is not an easy task considering the competition in that segment. The Honda City currently rules the mid-size sedan segment with a waiting period of around 4-5 months and then there is the Hyundai Verna which used to be the highest seller at one point with annual sales of 58,000 and 45,700 in 2013 and 2014 respectively. The existing models such as the Volkswagen Vento, Skoda Rapid, Fiat Linea and the recently launched Maruti Suzuki Ciaz will only make things tougher for the Toyota C. When it comes to premium vehicles the company is the segment leader with the Innova and the Fortuner and the Corolla Altis is also doing well which goes to show that Toyota has the brand image on it’s side which should help sales of the Toyota C.
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