Toyota Kirloskar India pulls out of small car segment, shifts focus on bigger cars

Japanese auto leader Toyota’s Indian presence, Toyota Kirloskar Motor Private Limited (TKM) has announced that the company will cease the production of small cars for the Indian car market. This crucial announcement came from the TKM vice chairman, Vikram Kirloskar in Mumbai. The company announcement also made it evident that the company will be shifting its focus on the bigger car models in the Indian market.

corolla altis with VVTI badge-1.

According to the reports, the small car segment in India accounts for about 50 percent of the total new cars sold in the country. The Indian small car market is however dominated by the car models from only a few manufacturers such as the Indian car market leader Maruti Suzuki and the second leading manufacture, Hyundai Motor. The car models that cost less than the price bracket of Rs.4 lakh include the very successful models such as the Maruti Alto, Maruti WagonR, Hyundai Eon and Hyundai i10.

Toyota decision to no longer continue producing small cars in India is because of the change in the car maker’s game plan as Kirloskar says. Toyota’s Indian presence is a joint venture with the Kirloskar group. At present, the cheapest car model that Toyota offers in the Indian car market is the compact Liva Hatchback that is priced at Rs.4.80 lakhs. Kirloskar revealed that the company was not able to break the cost barrier in the Indian small car segment and further said that the Indian mass market is really not for Toyota. Kirloskar also said that Toyota’s game will be in the bigger car segments of India in which the Corolla and the Innova belong. He added that the company diligently tried to break the cost barrier to make it big in the small car segment but was unable to do so.

A market analyst said that this is really a huge announcement from TKM’s side, which also reveals their market strategy in new future. It will be focusing on a market it is used to and is also focusing on larger margins. However, some can raise questions on the company giving up too soon on India’s major small car segment.

It is pretty apparent that by focusing on only the bigger car models, Toyota is hoping to get more profit margins. Kirloskar has also made it clear that TKM has choked out its new strategy for India and is also planning to launch a significant number of new models very soon. Kirloskar said that Toyota will be bouncing back soon with a lot of new models in the pipeline.

The intention of higher profit margins of the company is very evident, as this announcement came right after Toyota’s market share in India declined. Toyota’s Japanese rival Honda Cars India has grown massively with its Amaze and the City, while TKM’s sales suffered a plummet of 22.2 percent.

Toyota India is soon to release two new models in the form of the Etios Cross and the Corolla Altis.

Toyota postpones its price hike strategy

The car economy is on a sale downturn for the past few years, caused by the harsh recession blow. Established auto firms in India are struggling to achieve net desired sales, the consequences are so enormous that Toyota and other car makers have deferred price rise in April.

Toyota Logo

Price hike has become a common episode; in the events of unfavorable sales, and company usually increase their price outputs by about 1 to 3%, at beginning of financial year to cause an upward sale effect. In March 2014, Toyota along with Renault, Tata Motors, Mahindra, Hyundai and Maruti, decided to increase their prices. Honda Cars India had already increased the cost of its new City, and no other firm followed suit.

It is interesting to learn that Toyota has not adopted the price hike strategy, despite the recent series of labor strikes; other companies too have not taken price rise measure into consideration. Under the current constraint economy circumstances, it does come across as a risk. Industry analysts have stated that it is a costly affair for auto companies to raise their prices. The director general of (SIAM) Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, Vishnu Mathur stated that the current price structure of Toyota does pose risks with the current state of low buying powers, but price rise of no help to the fragile sale situation.

He also went on to say the sale scenario in 2013 was most hectic, and the effect was so adverse that it was difficult to predict if there would be an improvement in sales. The growth output during the earlier fiscal was about 3 to 5%; during the 2012-2013 financial period and later the sale dip was 6%.

Toyota, along with Mahindra, Hyundai Motor India and Maruti Suzuki stated that they are not keen to increase their prices. The Indian Government brought about a new excise duty policy, where excise duty costs on vehicles will be reduced. This new regulation came about in Feb 2014, and since then auto firms have lowered their prices.

The news of lower excise duty comes as good news to auto firms, but it was brought in rather late, when auto firms have reached a peak turmoil phase. Companies had to suffer massive losses of Rs 600 crore, all lost in inventory costs. The market scenario in India has not shown much improvement, and Toyota and other auto companies have not felt adequate rise in demand due to reduced prices. As mentioned earlier Toyota had to face the grave effects of low sale outputs, with intensive labor strike, that has lowered the production output of the firm. There are however new launches to look forward to, which are Etios Cross and new Corolla Altis.

Etios Cross is a cross version of Liva hatch, and the cross nature is highlighted by the presence of body clads. This is an interesting upcoming car to look forward to because not always, one would hear of Crossover launch. The expected launch date is May, which is barely a month away, and new Corolla Altis is packed with excitement as well, and is more premium and bigger than the earlier model.

Toyota introduces smaller efficient petrol engines

Japanese automaker Toyota motors which has won accolades as largest automaker in the world as per sales during 2013 defeating General Motors and Volkswagen group by a large margin is developing fuel efficient petrol engines for its cars. Toyota’s engineering team always strives for perfection in every aspect of their products and their automotive component divisions also maintains the same level of perfection therefore is making a new range of petrol engines which will be 10 percent more fuel efficient than their existing range. These engines will be designed entirely by Toyota’s in-house research and development team and will comprise of both 1.3 liter and 1 liter capacities with varied cylinder combinations.

2014 toyota aygo

Toyota will not use turbochargers on these engines and will most likely pair them up with electric hybrid engines to increase torque and power. These engines will help leverage Toyota’s technology and combustion power of its hybrid engines across the world. A few of Toyota’s cars are scheduled for redesign in forthcoming years and these engines are likely to be used in these models to examine their actual versatility. These petrol engines will also be used in hybrid cars with 14 new combinations and will be introduced globally by Toyota during 2015-16 to meet demands of clean technology. Toyota is the world leader when comes to introduction of latest hybrid technology into automobiles and has been continuously improving its products.

Therefore these latest petrol engines will also use Atkinson cycle which will reduce heat generation and improve compression of energy which will further enable superior efficiency of thermal energy. To improve fuel efficiency and power of its engines Toyota has improvised the intake port with a new shape to generate strong flow and recirculation. This new innovative shape of intake port enables powerful tumble flow and better EGR system which when paired with variable valve timing electric technique will improve combustion by a significant margin and also reduce losses. Toyota’s technology when combined with start/stop mechanism of petrol cars will increase efficiency and performance by nearly 15 percent. Toyota has an award winning range of engines in diesel, petrol and hybrid fuel options to satisfy varied needs of customers all over the world.

Toyota’s engines with VVT-i technique for petrol fuel, followed by common rail turbo (D-4D) for diesel fuel and its unique Toyota Hybrid System are all recognized for superiority in technology and performance by other carmakers and buyers. For Toyota’s management safety has always been top priority therefore its engines are tested put through vigorous crash tests using computerized simulations and other real time tests. Since early years Toyota has focused on petrol based engines followed by hybrid engines in combination with electric motors to make cars which are popular and not to expensive either. Rival automobile manufactures like Honda, Ford, Volkswagen, Fiat etc., have followed a different strategy from Toyota and concentrated on making small engines with turbochargers. However Toyota is focusing on using technology to improve combustion energy of petrol and diesel driven engines so that they use every drop of fuel to the fullest. The recently developed engine will improve thermal efficiency by 37 – 40 percent from existing level of 35 percent.

Hybrid pioneer Toyota Motor shifts attention on highly efficient gasoline engines

Toyota Motor, being the world’s largest selling car maker has always felt that it has been polluting the earth maybe more than the other car makers, and this thought had been driving the company to stress on the more nature friendly options. Toyota is the hybrid pioneer and always promoting alternative fuel options that will be less harmful for the environment. This as a result made the car maker fall a step behind its rival companies when new conventional engines are concerned.

Realizing the popularity of the highly powerful and efficient new engine lines of its rivals, Toyota has finally brushed aside its reluctance and introduced two entirely new engines. These new engines from the Japanese car major is claimed to enhance fuel efficiency by 10 percent. A lineup of 14 new engines will also be developed based on these 2 new engines and are expected to be unveiled by next year across the car markets of the world.

The two new fuel efficient Toyota gasoline engines are a 1.3 liter 4-cylinder unit and a more compact 1 liter 3-cylinder gasoline engine. These two engines have been able to be more efficient by adapting an express combustion process and Atkinson burning cycle that has been exclusively used only for the car maker’s hybrid systems until now.

For now, the more compact engines have been unveiled by Toyota, however very soon the same technology will go into making bigger and more powerful engines that the car maker will release all around next financial year. The highly fuel efficient gasoline engines of this same family will be used by the Japanese car giant to power its bigger vehicles and premium cars and will make use of direct-injection and turbocharger.

When the new family of 14 Toyota engines launch in the global auto market throughout the next two years’ time, these will be powering around 30 percent of Toyota’s car models all over the world.

These new engines are also a line of a next generation powerplant technology, as Toyota is deploying the Atkinson cycle engine for the first time that will not go into making gasoline-electric unit but purely conventional unit.

The highly effective Atkinson cycle enhances the fuel efficiency by keeping the intake valves of the engine open for a short time through the compression stroke. However, the disadvantage of this highly fuel efficient technology is that it reduces power at the same time. Toyota has been utilizing the Atkinson empowered engine only in its hybrid so far as its lackluster power output can be backed by powerful electric motor drawing its power from a battery pack.

For the new conventional gasoline engines, Toyota is aiming to use the Atkinson cycle fuel efficiency prowess, while boosting the lost power by using other technologies.

Toyota’s general manager of powertrain planning unit, Shouji Adachi said that the lower performance in torque figures is a challenge, but the company has resolved the issue for the new engines.

A glimpse into the new launches of Toyota unaffected by the strike

The Indian car market has been facing the heat of recession for the past couple of years. The buying power for cars has reduced greatly, because of the steep rise in fuel and commodity prices, and these factors are caused by reduction in value of rupee against dollar.

Toyota Logo

Toyota Kirloskar Motor, a highly acclaimed subsidiary of the Japanese based firm, is in dire straits, the labor crises has taken a toll on the company. The labor unrest effect is so significant that the company has to postpone the launch of its models. There has been turmoil on company grounds. Toyota on normal days produces 700 vehicles, on days of labor issues; the capacity has reduced to below 350 pieces.  Out of the 4,500 labor workers with permanent contract, only 300 have resumed work, here too the ordeal is not small, the labors who started work, did so, only after signing an agreement of good conduct.

The firm has been on the move of production with the aid of apprentices, contract workers, engineers and management staff. Car enthusiasts should not lose hope, taking into account the recent happenings in Toyota Kirloskar Motor. The company is geared to introduce two new models this year, Etios Cross and new Corolla Altis.

Etios Cross, as the name goes is Crossover product, and its dimension is less than four meters. The model is being built in two units, and the output is lesser than the planned amount. It is exciting to learn about a new Cross launch, and the car was displayed at 2014 Indian Auto Expo. Toyota is banking on the car to yield impressive profits, and the price structure will be similar to Etios sedan and Liva hatch.

Running an automobile firm is labor intensive, and labor unrest issue evokes pressure on engineers, contract workers and management staff. Company officials have expressed their concerns saying, it will affect the smooth flow of vehicles. Dealers associated with sale of vehicles have stated that the launch of Etios Cross has been postponed. The due launch date is May, but the earlier plan was to introduce the car on the 4th of April. Although the exact launch date of the car has been revealed, a dealer has announced that Toyota has not disclosed the delivery date.

Etios Cross is a car to look forward to, and the phrase Cross is attention grabbing, and is a crossover of Etios Liva hatch. The unique identity of the car that defines its Cross feature is the presence of body clads, which makes it a cross between a hatchback and sport utility vehicle (SUV). The car is likely to cost Rs 5 to 6 lakhs.

It will be fun to test drive the new Etios Cross, and car enthusiasts would surely want to own a Crossover model, because these are common, but not to the brim as other normal designs. The other amazing new Toyota launch to look forward to is new Corolla Altis. Corolla is a symbol of prestige all over the world, and the new car will sport more premium features and is larger than the earlier model.

Toyota Motor begs to differ; prefers people to robots

In the modern age when more importance and preference are given to high-tech robots than humans where precision and competence are concerned, the global auto leader Toyota begs to differ. The Japanese auto major, Toyota Motor is reportedly firing its robotic workers and hiring human beings in their place.

Toyota Logo

Toyota Motor has been always known for its unconventional approach, futuristic ideas, remarkable innovations and quirky concepts. Thus, the pioneer of hybrid cars is yet again reportedly doing something different than its fellow car majors.

Reports say that Toyota Motor is replacing its mechanical workers with real people across its manufacturing facilities in Japan. The idea of replacing robots with human workers is as impressive and noteworthy as the move to replace human beings with robots more than 3 decades ago.

According to Toyota, the company needs to constantly improve processes and get new innovative ideas. In order to promote valuable thinking and enhanced efficient work process it is important to give the charge back to people for making improved things. The car maker’s goal behind putting real people behind the job is to create an enhanced efficient production process that will not become stagnant over the time.

A senior employee at Toyota Motor, Mitsuru Kawai told the media that the company needs to be more solid and return to the basics in order to take charge and sharpen the manual skills and enhance them further. He recalled when he was a fresher, how experienced masters were look upon as gods who can make anything.

Toyota’s way of thinking in this case may seem absurd to some, as computers and robots have become the mainstream workers that won’t make mistakes and do everything with absolute precision. Robots obviously do things faster with great accuracy which is not possible for human beings, so the notion of replacing robots with humans seems weird. However, the most important thing behind anything remains thinking, which robots cannot do. As thinking is the cradle of innovation, Toyota is making it a point to put back people in charge.

While robots are super efficient at carrying out repetitive tasks with utter precision and speed, human beings can think, find ways and enhance the entire process. While most auto manufacturing facilities at present are dominated by mechanical workers, the production process may become stagnant over the time, as machines cannot suggest ways of improvements.

The Toyota Way, as the Japanese car maker’s famed production method is called has recognized this feared stagnation and the loss of craftsmanship of the workers who are used to operating machines.

Auto expert, Jeff Liker who takes great interest in Toyota says that the company looks upon its workers as craftsmen who constantly need to refine their skills and art level, thus manual work is highly important. Handling robots for everything will over the time take the actual manufacturing skills away from the workers, and the production process will become repetitive and stagnant, hence Toyota’s greater reliance on people.

Etios Cross a source of inspiration in crossover car industry

Toyota is geared to unveil its new products soon such as new Corolla Altis and Etios Cross. The most sought after car is Etios Cross, because of the Cross nature of the car, which is rare and exclusive. The Cross demeanor is highlighted by the presence of plastic cladding. Etios Cross was revealed at 2014 Indian Auto Expo, and the design is based on Liva hatch.

Toyota Etios Cross Auto Expo

Those who are keen to buy the Etios Cross can book their cars now since bookings are open, and the down payment cost of Rs 50,000. The car will hit markets within a month in May 2014, and the waiting period is for 30 days. Etios Cross is a Cross variant of Liva hatch, and visual effect with both cars is varied. Cross looks macho and rugged, draped in silver body cladding, 10 spoke alloy wheels, huge bars on roof, restructured fog lamp, rear spoiler, and front bumper guard. The stand out features here are silver body cladding, and fog lamp cluster, which are absent in Liva hatch. There are plastic claddings on lower portion of the car.

Interiors are packed with comfort and excitement; there are adjustable headrests, chrome decorations on dashboard, black seat fabric. To listen to amazing tunes there is a world class two Din audio system with USB, Aux-in and Bluetooth connectivity. Etios Cross is a perfect model to opt for to encounter great interior décor and fitments.

The car is equipped with robust diesel D4D 1.4 liter engine that churns 68 bhp, and the petrol car moves on 1.5 and 1.2 liter power trains that yield 89bhp and 79bhp. Etios Cross is a reliable product with regard to safety, and has the standard EBD and ABS safety features. Details on price structure have not yet been disclosed, and are expected to be Rs 6 to 6.5 lakhs.

The competition levels in Indian car market are at its peak, caused by constrained economy. The adverse effects of recession has led to a new wave of excitement, there are heaps of new launches in the near future, and the launch of a Cross model is amazing. Etios Cross is an assortment of sportiness and sophistication, and is a more rugged looking car than Liva hatch. Customers will surely want to explore the Etios Liva hatch in different light. A new Cross launch always sounds thrilling, and is best suited for Indian market, because of the vast numbers of car buffs that exist in the country.

The competition is so tight that even a rare Cross model has to fight the cut-throat competition. The arch rivals of Etios Cross are Fiat Punto Adventure Cross, Volkswagen Cross Polo and Maruti Suzuki Sx4 s Cross.

Etios Cross has all the features a modern car fanatic can ask for; the launch is nearing just a month away. The bookings are open, so book your car and grab the earliest piece. It will be interesting to observe how Etios Cross fares against its competition, and years from now there might be many more Cross models.

Etios Cross is the starting point towards a whole new era of spectacular Cross launches.

Toyota working on new 2015 MPV

The car market in India is huge and mostly dominated by hatchbacks, sedans, and sport utility vehicles (SUV’s). Not much is heard about multipurpose vehicle (MPV) market, and it is pretty red hot as well, despite the lesser number of models compared to other segments. Maruti Suzuki Ertiga, Nissan Evalia and Chevrolet Enjoy are few examples of MPV’s. On the thought of MPV’s, one model that will remain etched in the mind of Indian’s is Toyota Innova, and the company is all set to build a new MPV in 2015.

Toyota Innova Aero LE

Toyota India is an eminent division of the Japanese headquartered firm, and the Innova is a legend in MPV market. Car enthusiasts will ponder on how Toyota’s 2015 MPV will look. The car is likely to be displayed for the very first time at the prestigious Indonesian International Auto Show scheduled in 2014 September. Innova has already worked wonders for the company, and is pricier and bigger than its contenders. Innova is not the only MPV on Toyota’s stable, there is a smaller MPV called Avanza, a huge hit in South East Asian markets, and the biggest profit maker in Indonesia. The latest Avanza looks strikingly similar to Innova.

The competition in Indian car market at present is red hot; there are new launches from every genre of car industry. Auto makers are emerging with products that are inscribed with novel design and innovative technology. Maruti Suzuki has introduced a new Authentics concept in its upcoming Ciaz model, and AMT technology in the recently launched Celerio hatchback. Honda has injected with new City with breakthrough Exciting H design philosophy. The introduction of new products with new technologies is a measure of the stiff competition that exists in car industry.

The competition levels in MPV market are enormous as well, Honda has launched Mobilio in Indonesia, and the Indian launch is expected to happen in June this year. The new Toyota MPV scheduled to arrive at Indonesian International Auto Show (IIS) in Indonesia is expected to be more magnificent and stylish compared to Avanza.

Toyota has not yet revealed its new 2015 MPV to the public, and it is interesting to learn of the company’s new MPV project after the massive success of Innova in India and Avanza in South East Asia. The company not exposed the detailed features of the model to the public. The model projected for 2014 IIS display is completely disguised with black leather cover and the only exposed area are the wheel arches and antenna. The wheel arch design is in the form of inverted V channels.

It is exciting to know about Toyota’s 2015 MPV launch, and the car will be revealed to the public in Indonesia in September 2014. Toyota Innova was a great success in India, and the new MPV is likely to be more stylish and premium. Let’s wait for the launch of the car and see what lies beneath, and let’s hope the car launches in India.

45,000 Toyota Innovas to be recalled in India

The world’s most favorite car manufacturer, Toyota seems to be in love with recalls. The Japanese giant can’t just make an end to the series of recalls it has been making for quite a while now. This time around it seems to have joined its semi-Indian fellow Japanese car maker, Maruti Suzuki which is also making pretty huge recalls recently in India.

Toyota’s Indian presence, the joint venture named Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) has announced on 9th of April that the company is about to make a recall of 44,989 units of its very popular MPV soon. The Toyota Innova multipurpose vehicle (MPV) is one of the bestselling products of Toyota in India which has been a great seller ever since its launch. Toyota said that the recalled Innova units belong to the manufacturing time period of February 2005 to December 2008. These vehicles will be recalled in India in order to replace a defective cable on the steering wheel.

This recall is however, a part of a much larger global recall from the parent company Toyota Motor Corporation that involves the recall of a massive 6.39 million vehicles. The Japanese auto leader has already announced this global recall.

Toyota Kirloskar Motor has revealed in a company statement that this recall campaign has been announced as a global rectification routine recall. The recall involves the rectification of a malfunctioning spiral cable that is found on the steering wheel.

The statement further added that due to this faulty steering wheel cable, the vehicle’s airbag warning lamp on the instrument cluster may remain continuously illuminated. Moreover, this fault may also potentially deactivate the driver’s side airbag.

The TKM statement finally added that Toyota is at present working on getting the required replacement parts. As soon as the replacement parts are there with the company, the owners of the relevant Innova units will be contacted through the company’s official dealers for the rectification to be carried out.

Like all recalls, the replacement of the erroneous steering wheel cable will be done for absolutely free of cost and according to the statement will take about an hour for each and every vehicle.

Toyota announced that it is recalling a massive 6.39 million vehicles across more than 25 models across the globe in order to resolve several different issues. This global recall will be the Japanese car major’s second largest recall till date that has been made on a single day. The car giant revealed that the various issues to solve in these recalled vehicles include the mentioned defective cable on the steering wheel, engine starters, windshield wiper motors and seat rails.

The biggest recall by the Toyota Motor till date was made in the month of October 2012, when it recalled 7.43 million vehicles including the Corolla, Yaris and other cars to replace malfunctioning power window switches.

In India, Toyota’s recall will be most probably followed by the Indian auto industry leader Maruti Suzuki which is supposed to recall around 1 lakh Dzire compact sedans to replace a faulty fuel tank component.

Toyota Camry versus Skoda Superb-Tough battle

The sedan market in India is huge, and it is a bit confusing to choose a well built, attractive and powerful sedan, because there are too many options to choose from. Let us compare two popular sedans Toyota Camry and Skoda Superb.


Toyota Camry is inserted with a powerful petrol 2.5 liter engine that pumps out 178bhp. The power movement is robust, with little room for engine strain, and the car can cover vast distances of 100 kph in just 9.23 seconds. The engine is attached to 6 speed automatic gearbox and runs smoothly.

Skoda Superb maneuvers on dynamic petrol 1.8 liter engine that churns 160bhp, and the engine used is direct injection motor. The engine movement is smooth, and power output is efficient, and the initial acceleration pull is pretty impressive contributed by eager engine. The fiery robust engine enables the car to cover 100 kmph in just 8.56 seconds. The engine is mated to 7 speed dual clutch gearbox and the gear handling mechanisms are quite smooth and consumer friendly.

2014 skoda superb

Suspension efficiency:

Toyota has engineered the Camry with impressive suspension equipment, which emits minimal vibrations, and can maneuver on challenging terrains with ease. Even when the car is moving at snail pace, the suspension works well, and the power yielded at high speeds is splendid. The suspension equipment is well structured to an extent that it can hold the car during the event of back rolls.

Skoda Superb ranks high in suspension department, there is however a sense of uneasiness at lower speeds, and the thrill is sky high when the car is moving at high speeds. The tires are wired to offer firm grip especially at the edges, to give that extra movement edge. The movement and balance network of Superb is among the best in its class.


Camry is an exquisite sedan inside out, and the interior décor is impressively lavish. The cushions are tailored with fine upholstery, and the wood finish on steering and dashboard enhances the aesthetic value of the car. The seats are super comfy and wide to just enjoy a grand comfortable ride. The back compartment is posh as well, and the comfort levels are heavenly with excellent shoulder room and thigh support.

Skoda has adopted simple yet elegant décor for the Superb; there are minimal differences between the earlier model and the facelifted car. The difference lies in the fitment of three spoke steering wheel. The cabin is not as appealing as Camry, but the cushions offer abundant comfort, and drivers can experience waves of comfort while driving.


Camry is loaded with equipments such as a world class 2 Din touchscreen music system with USB, aux-in connectivity and Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control and parking sensors. The car is not loaded with optimum safety features with the absence of airbags, and other reliable features are absent like reverse camera and sunroof.

Skoda is packed with exciting equipments as well, in form of six CD charger, split folding back seats and touch screen interface. The car scores well on safety front with the presence of standard safety features such as ESP, ABS, and 6 airbags.

Toyota Camry is a better pick in terms of engine power, interior décor and suspension. Skoda Superb is a worthier pick on equipment and safety front.