In India Toyota Kirloskar Motor Completes 20 Years
In India Toyota, Kirloskar has completed 20 years. Operating in India through its joint venture with the Kirloskar Group, the carmaker has sold over a million cars in India to date. At present, Toyota’s India line-up comprises the Innova Crysta, Fortuner, Corolla Altis, Camry Hybrid, Yaris, Etios, Etios Liva, Etios Cross, Prado, Land Cruiser and Prius.
Toyota’s India journey started with the Qualis in 1999. The utility vehicle was boxy and appeared as an outdated hand-me-down. However, the model quickly made a mark for its reliability and positive word of mouth helped sales cross 1,00,000 units by 2003. The next big hit from Toyota came in the form of the Innova that went on sale in 2005. The introduction of the Fortuner SUV, which – along with its platform mate, the Innova – remains a money spinner for Toyota in India to this day. The Corolla and Camry sedans have also been consistent fixtures on Toyota’s line-up.
Journey so far of Toyota Kirloskar Motor
The journey so far from Kirloskar Motor’s key principals is Customer First. The company is constantly offering better services to augment the safety and convenience of its customer and in 2017 launched ‘Toyota Connect India’, a smartphone app. This cloud-based app caters to customer’s mobility and ownership demands and is supported by a dedicated call centre along with the company’s dealer networks and service providers.
The journey of Kirloskar Motor had also its first driving school in Kochi in 2015 which was soon followed by 11 other driving schools and now as a part of the company’s ‘Safest Car with Safest Driver’ mission for road safety, it plans to have 50 such schools across India by 2020. Toyota’s new partnership with Suzuki carries much importance to the brand. Suzuki will be supplying Toyota with the Baleno while Brezza, Ertiga and Ciaz will also be sourced by Toyota from Suzuki. The Vitara Brezza will be produced at the Kirloskar Motors plant in Bidadi, Karnataka from 2022 and in return Toyota will help Suzuki in terms of hybridization and electrification along with the supply of the Corolla. A new C segment Toyota MPV will also be developed along with Suzuki. Even though Toyota is not the largest carmaker in India, it’s the partnership with Suzuki could take things into next gear.
The partnership came about as Toyota and Suzuki began working on electric vehicle technology together. This partnership provided Suzuki with electric vehicle technology while Toyota reaped the benefits of having access to Maruti Suzuki’s popular mass-market models – like the Baleno, Ertiga, Vitara Brezza, etc. – which will help it plug the product gap it currently has.
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