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.

Toyota Kirloskar’s labour trouble continues with halved production, while workers go on with relay hunger strikes

The Indian auto makers get their fare share of labour unrest and agitating workers every now and then. While 2012 witnessed the gruesome labour violence at Maruti Suzuki factory, in 2013 Mahindra got quite some trouble handling its workers. Now, in 2014 it is Toyota Kirloskar Motor’s (TKM) turn. Though the Japanese car major has withdrawn the lockout of its twin manufacturing facilities in Bidadi close to Bangalore, the workers are yet to commence work. In fact, it cannot be said as to when the wage hike issue between the company and its workers union will get resolved.

Toyota Logo

After the company lifted the factory lockout, the workers refused to resume work as they refused to sign a good conduct agreement provided by the company who feared some labour unrest within the factory premises. The agitating Toyota workers then went in for indefinite hunger strike. However, now the Workers Union has called off the indefinite hunger strike as some of the workers fell ill.

The Workers Union stated that some of the senior workers, who were fast for 6 consecutive days showed health deterioration and complications, after which they were admitted to Rajarajeshwari hospital. The union further revealed that the protest demonstration will be continued, now in the form of the relay hunger strike, in which a different set of union members will be fasting each day to continue the hunger strike. In the meantime, the Karnataka state labour department has fixed a meeting between the workers union leaders and the Toyota Kirloskar management on 10th of April to try to find a possible solution for this problem.

On the other hand, the world’s leading car maker Toyota has revealed that it is facing low production problem in its two car plants because of the agitating workers. TKM says that its production has decreased by half its original amount as the company is now mostly relying on the services of the newly hired contract workers. Toyota revealed that only 300 out of the 4,200 permanent workers have now resumed work, while the bulk majority is protesting outside the plants after almost 15 days post the eight-day factory lockout was lifted by the company.

The issue over the pay hike has been going on between the company and its workers union for about a year now.

Senior executive at TKM, Shekar Viswanathan said that the company’s production has fallen down by 50 percent to 350 cars per day from the previous 700 cars per day. The twin manufacturing facilities of Toyota India produce about 310,000 cars per year, which includes the Toyota cars such as the Camry sedan, Camry Hybrid, the Corolla Altis, and the Etios and Liva primarily for the domestic Indian car market.

The carmaker is still maintaining its demand for taking the good conduct pledge by the workers, as it wishes to avoid any violence. Viswanathan has also negated the workers unions claims that the company’s “good conduct” agreement has certain clauses that prevent workers union activity.

Made in India Toyota Etios immerges as a bestselling car in South Africa

Several India made car models are making it big in the global car markets, and the same has just happed for the Toyota Etios. The made in India Etios hatchback from the world’s car leader Toyota has just become one of the bestselling hatchbacks in the country of South Africa.

toyota etios sedan

The year 2013 witnessed a growth in the new car market in South Africa which went up by 4 percent with the sale of a total 6,50,620 vehicles. The India manufactured Toyota Etios is the 4th top selling place car in the South African car market and the third bestselling hatchback in the country. Thus, it has written a remarkable success story for itself though 3rd and 4th places for a Toyota car are not that significant for the car behemoth.

The real success for the India manufactured Etios hatchback is the fact that the car has witnessed 33 percent sales growth from the year ago, which has made it climb up to the 4th spot in the top selling cars’ list. The Etios has registered the sale of 24,367 units. Interestingly, this amazing growth rate and popularity of the Etios in South Africa has made the country probably the only market where the Etios is actually successful.

Moreover, the South African car consumers seem to be in love with the Toyota Etios, as the car’s sales rates are equally good in the first quarter of the current year as well. The sales figures of the made in India Toyota Etios in the first three months of 2014, namely January, February and March shows the sale of 2,250, 1,836 and 2,364 Etios units respectively. This resulted in an even better positioning of the Etios in the South African market. The car retained its 3rd spot in the top hatchback list for the months of January and February, while it climbed up further to the second spot last month.

To vouch for the success of the made in India cars in the international car market, closely following the Toyota Etios is another car that is made in and imported from India, namely the Ford Figo. The India made Figo retained its 4th spot in January and February in the South African car market by recording the sale of 1,446 and 1,093 units respectively, after which it slid down to the 5th spot in March with the sale figure of 1,203 units.

The top most places of the South African car market are however consistently occupied by the extremely popular Volkswagen Polo and the Polo Vivo, which are both available in the sedan as well as hatchback avatars in South Africa.

Coming back to the Toyota Etios, while the car has not been much of a success in the Indian car market, its upcoming crossover avatar is expected to be a game changer. The new Toyota Etios Cross is an aggressive looking crossover that is soon to hit the Indian market and expected to boost sales rates for the company.

Etios Cross will launch on 7th of May 2014

The launch of Etios Cross does sound exciting, and bookings for the car have opened. For some exciting the company has disclosed the launch date of the car which is on the 7th of May 2014. The booking price for the car is Rs 50,000 and the waiting period is a month. The phrase Cross sounds interesting and exclusive, and this might be the reason for the dearer pricing of Rs 60,000 compared to Liva.

Toyota Etios Cross Auto Expo

The car was displayed at the prestigious 2014 Auto Expo, and for those who are curious, the new Etios Cross sounds similar to Etios. It is a cross variant of Etios Liva hatch. The uniqueness stems for the plastic cladding on the sides which makes the car look sturdy and rough. The exteriors fitments are skid plates with glossy silver finish, matte black plastic that flows from chin to rear flanks.

The traits of Etios Cross which makes it a one of a kind car is the presence of diamond cut fifteen inch alloy wheels, rear spoiler, wing mirror with turn indicators, roof rails, and new grille in front with turn indicators and creatively styled fog lamps. On the boot lid is a neatly carved Etios Cross logo, the Cross looks more masculine than Liva and is sold in eight shades. Etios Cross has a bigger measurement than Liva, and is 45mm taller, 40mm wider, and 120mm longer.

The insides look pretty grand as well with a classy piano black finish, and the sporty effect is visible in seat upholstery as well, and also on the Etios Cross logo. There is a world class 2 Din music system with USB, Bluetooth and aux connectivity. The high-end versions will have wiper, rear defogger and audio controls on steering. The car is packed with basic safety features that will offer optimum protection such as dual front airbags, EBD and ABS.

The mechanical features in new Etios Cross are similar to that of Etios Liva, and are equipped with dynamic diesel 1.4 liter and 1.5 liter and 1.2 liter petrol engines. The 1.5 and 1.2 liter engine yields 89 and 79bhp, and the petrol 1.4 liter diesel engine churn 68bhp. The 1.2 liter petrol engine will drive the standard variants of Etios Cross and the 1.5 liter engine will move high-end models.

Etios Cross is packed with excitement and comfort, and the launch date is revealed, the most exciting aspect of the car is it is a Cross, which is exclusive and rare in automobile market scenario. The Indian automobile market conditions are pretty dim, because of the constrained economy, and the competition levels are hence hotter than before. Driving the Etios Cross will be fun since it is a sporty and rugged make of Etios hatch. Although it has the Etios Liva identity splashed all over, the encounter is still different from Liva hatch, and it is the plastic cladding which makes all the difference.

Those who are keen to buy Etios Cross, it is a worthy purchase, because of its grand all round features, and the feature which stands out is plastic cladding.

Toyota labor unrest causes problems in production

The recent strike in Toyota’s Indian factory near Bangalore has not resolved even after a spate of negotiations between workers and labor union initiated by government bodies and labor arbitration groups.  Demand for high better salaries and other welfare measures were being made by workers unions of both production units since early 2013 and negotiations were being carried out for past ten months which came to a standstill during middle of March 2014 when workers threatened to stop work if their demands were not met immediately.  The factories have a total of 4200 workers who also stated that suspended workers accused of causing disruption in work by Toyota be reinstated.

Toyota Logo

After a few days of strike Toyota had offered to reinstate employees if they signed a guarantee of good conduct which again led to an impasse as workers who are union members were not interested in signing the document. Under these circumstances Toyota allowed only non union members to start work therefore the factory is working only at one third the capacity as 65 percent of workforce are union members. Rising inflation followed by rise in input costs and lower sales volumes is causing rift in relations between labor and management as both strive to meet these expenses in their own manner.  While workers are demanding higher wages and better work conditions, factory managers are trying to reduce costs by pushing for continuation of existing work and compensation.

When the matter came up for arbitration by labor commissioner and other higher authorities both parties refused to agree on common issues even after several meetings and Toyota continued with lockout of production unit to avoid damage of factory premises. Toyota wants to avoid situations which have happened previously at Maruti Suzuki, Mahindra, Honda and several others leading to damage of property and physical injuries therefore does not want to risk untoward situation by allowing agitating workers within premises. The dispute between Toyota’s workers and management has been festering for a long time as workers are asking the management to share profits created in India with local workers instead of transferring them to parent firm in Japan.

While the recent impasse and subsequent lockout of certain units is affecting workers it will also cause huge damage to Toyota if this situation continues for a long time. Toyota is continuing a certain section of production with union member workers who have signed the document and non union members but it will not help firm to meet delivery schedules of bookings already made. To break this deadlock factory workers unions have to sign the good  and also accept the wage rise and benefits agreed to by management as a higher rate would affect overall costs drastically and in-view of devalued rupee Toyota will have difficulty in running this unit. Even though the sales in India accounts for only 1.6 percent of this automobile giant’s total sales it is significant enough for Toyota as it has managed to capture 4.5 percent of local markets and has invested a significant amount in setting up this production unit.

New sedan Corolla to become Australia’s best-selling vehicle

Toyota Motor Corp’s recently updated sedan Corolla ZR diesel model is a beauty with luxurious interiors and crafted external features which provide driving pleasure to driver and passengers alike. Toyota’s engineers and designers seem to have spent a considerable time and energy in designing this car to make it appear like a collector’s item without a top heavy cost. This 11th generation sedan has been imported from Thailand where it is manufactured. Within a month of launch sedan version of Toyota Corolla ZR has become fastest selling model with 4086 deliveries within March 2014which is 22 percent higher than Feb 2014 and March of last year. The beautiful sedan’s exteriors are enhanced by metallic colors of light blue, silver, champagne, black, white and pearl. This model truly lives up to Toyota’s publicity line of “genius inside, gorgeous outside”.

2014 Toyota Corolla

Engine Specification – The Corolla Sedan’s 1.8 liter diesel engine has variable nozzle and intercooler with six speed manual transmission for strong pickup and torque. This front wheel drive car has option of seven speed gear manual transmission engine and is extremely fuel efficient to provide nearly 21.43 kmpl on average and also maintain emission levels. This turbocharged engine has capacity to deliver torque of 205Nm and accelerate within 13 seconds to reach maximum speed of 190kmph.

Interior Details – Spacious interiors of the Toyota Corolla has body hugging driver’s seat with multiple adjustments and all black accented upholstery with leather seats.  For passenger comfort Toyota’s designers have redesigned its front and rear seats to provide ample legroom to all along with thoughtful features like cigarette lighter, cup holders, and storage pockets and cooled glove compartment.  Climate control mechanism automatically manages air conditioner and heater while audio system with USB and Bluetooth compatibility enables relaxation on long drives. Other features like smart entry and smart start enable easy start stop button start while day-night rearview mirrors, automatic climate control and digital clock enhance driver comfort.

Exterior Details – The car’s front fascia is clutter-less with swept back sides and outward protruding radiator grille with Toyota logo giving it a nose like appearance. Body colored ORVM’s with side indicators and door handles compliment 15 inch alloy wheels with seven spokes. Curved hood integrates into frame into radiator grille with chrome slats across it to give the front profile a three dimensional effect. Slightly curved wheel arches with crisp lines between them contribute to enhancing side profile. Rear profile has angular stop lights which span across boot cover and sides containing stop lamps and LED daytime burning lamps.

Safety and Suspension – Toyota Corolla sedan being a luxury variant has latest safety gadgets of seven airbags, ABS and EBD along with seat belts having lap-sash all of which have helped this model get five star safety rating. Besides door jam protector the car also has rear cameras and rear sensors. This sedan also has impact sensor with side impact beams along with power of disc and drum brakes while its suspension system is supported by McPherson struts in front along with torsion beam in rear.

Toyota records 57% lower sales and is a side effect of unrest

The past few years have not been too favorable for auto firms in India, the effect of recession has caused an adverse blow on sales. Toyota Kirloskar Motor is feeling the heat of unfavorable macro-economic conditions; the company has recorded a steep 57% sale dip in 2014 March.

corolla altis with VVTI badge-1.

The company has sold 9,160 vehicles in 2014 March, which is a significant decline compared to 21,143 units sold in 2013 March. There has been a grand decline in domestic sector with the flow of 8.206 vehicles against 19,452 vehicles. Toyota has earned an eminent name in overseas markets with Liva hatch and Etios sedan, but the company did not manage to catch up on impressive profits with the sale of only 954 pieces. Toyota enjoys a phenomenal brand figure in India and its models are most of the time costly. Sources have stated that it is not a strategic plan to sell expensive models under the current constraint economy conditions, and Toyota should re-structure costs. The only car which caters to the mass middle class population in India are Etios twins.

Toyota has new launches for 2014 and the cars to look forward to are Etios Cross, a cross model of Liva, and new Toyota Corolla. Etios Cross and new Corolla are exciting pieces to look forward to. The interest that lies with Etios Cross is the fact that it is a Cross car, and the public would yearn to experiment on commonly untreated models. The highlight of the Cross is plastic cladding, which enhances the identity of the car.

The car market was in a chaos in the past few years, and it is not uncommon to read about unrests. Maruti Suzuki was in a state of unrest a while ago, and now Toyota is feeling the heat. The commotion was pretty robust that about 4,300 employees were on strike since March, and this has affected optimal sale flow with the movement of 9,160 pieces compared to 21,143 pieces noted in the corresponding year.

The management team at Toyota Kirloskar Motor asked for lockout on the 16th of March, and two of its Bidadi units till the 24th of March. The union did not issue permission to return to normal state of affairs, till they were asked to product a certificate of good conduct. On the unfavorable flow of situations, the senior Vice President in the marketing and sale division of Toyota Kirloskar Motor N Raja stated, ‘’we started on tight production schedule from the 18th of March, with aid of team members, many being supervisors.’’

The sale scenario of Toyota has not been too fruitful and it has to bear an assortment of unrest and low sales. The company can hope to encounter silver lining in the future with two exciting launches, Etios Cross and new Toyota Corolla. There will surely be a huge queue for the two models because of the modernity effect emitted by the two cars.

Those who are keen on Etios Cross and new Corolla these are worthy purchases and bookings for both cars have commenced.

Toyota Etios Cross captured in grand style at dealership

There are heaps of new launches in 2014, and one car to look forward to Toyota Etios Cross. Toyota Kirloskar Motor will launch the car in May, the launch of Etios Cross sounds thrilling, because of the Cross factor. The uniqueness lies in side plastic cladding, and the other interesting features are silver skid guards, diamond cut alloy wheels and roof rails.

Etios Cross was unveiled at 2014 Indian auto expo, and it is a fascinating piece, especially with the Cross identity attached to it. Etios Cross is Liva hatch, the only varied identity is thick plastic cladding. Cross is a new segment in car design, and is not as common as new hatch, SUV or sedan car. The competition levels in Indian car market are at its peak, evident with new launches from all possible quarters that exist in car segment. The common perception is that Cross cars are one of a kind, and there are just a couple of launches, Toyota has to face the stiff battle that exists in current car market with Etios Cross, and its robust contenders are Fiat Aventura Cross Polo, Volkswagen Cross Polo and Maruti Suzuki Sx4 S Cross.

Toyota has experimented on Cross to a great deal, and Etios Cross is the third new variant of Liva hatch, and the standard car is Sportivo TRD Liva. Etios Cross is draped with plastic cladding, roof fitted rear spoiler, roof rails, fifteen inch wheels, fresh alloy design and grille guard. The car is equipped with potent 1.5 liter and 1.2 liter petrol engine that releases efficient power outputs of 90PS and 80 PS. The diesel engine moves on 1.4 liter capacity and churns 68PS and the engines are mated to five speed manual transmission gearbox. The other curiosity element with Etios Liva Cross is what else is different apart from plastic cladding, the car has lesser fitments, and there are however more standard features such as world class 2 Din music system with Bluetooth and Aux-in connectivity, audio controls on steering and premium leather fitted steering wheel.

The launch date of the much awaited Etios Cross is just about a couple of months away in May. The thrill factor with the car is at its peak, and test mule of Etios Cross was spotted close to a dealership. Spotting a Cross car is exhilarating, and the greater amusement picture is the car was captured in an electrifying blue shade. From the test mule images the car looks pretty attractive, the blue color merges well with black cladding.

Those who are keen to purchase Etios Cross, it is a worthy buy, to explore a new package different from the usual. Car enthusiasts who are fascinated with all the possible car genres that exist on the planet can fit in the Cross to the long list of car diversity. A Cross product is rare and unbelievably unique and the amazement can be compared to that of Cross breed animal, which is too common yet uncommon at the same time.

The price structure of Etios Cross lies between Rs 5.5 to 7.5 lakhs based on variant.

Interesting facts about 2015 Toyota Prius

Hybrid cars are the latest hot research topics; Toyota a world renowned auto figure has conquered this segment with the launch of Prius in 1997 in Japan. The car has been an instant success and the company is geared to introduce the 2015 Prius model which is the fourth generation model.

2015 toyota prius side view rendering

The second gen Prius was introduced in 2004, and looks classy, the trendy effect is highlighted by the creative stream line body sculpt. The streamlined body is the stand out feature of Prius and is Toyota’s unique recipe for the car. Prius is one of the best looking cars in the market, and the expectations for 2015 model are naturally enormously high. The design structure of 2014 Prius is derived from NS4 concept model. An exterior feature that has flown with Prius for years is the artistic aerodynamic body, and the effect in new car will be more tremendous than before.

The highlight of 2015 Prius is the aerodynamic sculpt, and the car will be tailored on a novel platform called Toyota New Global Architecture. The principle behind this new platform is to bring about a more aerodynamic product. The interior décor will be better than the current model, and the equipments are positioned in accordance with driver’s convenience.

Consumers today rely on attractive fuel efficiency packages, because of the hectic life pace contributed by rapid industrialization over the past few years. Based on report provided by Green car the fourth gen Prius will move with an improved mileage of 55mpg, and according to sources is not much of an improvement compared to 50mpg noted in the earlier model.

The new Prius will move with a better engine packed with ground breaking lithium ion battery technology. This is Toyota’s first move with insertion of lithium ion battery and the earlier models ran on nickel metal hydride battery. Lithium ion battery will improve the efficiency factor of the car enabling superior electricity storage, density and energy. The principle behind the working of lithium ion battery technology is the chemical processes that take place in Atkinson cycle gasoline power train observed in current model.

The expected price structure of 2015 Prius is $ 24,025 and can exceed $ 30,000, and since it is a 2015 launch, the car might arrive in showrooms by 2014 end. Auto companies and labs all over the globe are working on greater hybrid car theories. Most of the new launches are tailored with an eco-friendly theory and the emission levels are in accordance with stringent EPA regulations. The fourth gen Prius is tailored with greater aesthetics and will be more reliable than its predecessor in terms of mileage and smooth movement contributed by a lighter aerodynamic body.

Though the technology is not very new, hybrid cars have not taken off as expected, the reason could be the high cost involved in building these models and the impact is greater under the current constrained economy. Also significant amount of research has to be conducted on the feasibility impact of hybrid battery technology.

2015 Prius is a benchmark in the advancements of hybrid technology in terms of lighter body and superior mileage.

Toyota TRD Sportivo Fortuner showcased in Bangkok

Toyota Fortuner is among the most sophisticated and powerful models built in India. The Indian made car is a head turner all over the globe and was showcased at the prestigious Bangkok Motor show.  The Fortuner model displayed was Toyota Racing Development (TRD) Sportivo variant.

Toyota Fortuner TRD Sportivo Limited Edition

As the name goes TRD Fortuner is tailored with sporty equipment and the insides are modified from an elegant sporty effect to a modified classy tune. The Thai spec TRD Fortuner is not totally similar to the Indian made car, and the variation is evident in front bumper and grille structure. It is interesting to learn that a TRD Fortuner is on sale in India and now in Thailand, and the public will be curious about the components of TRD kit. It has premium leather upholstery, red fabric for gear lever, carbon material for dashboard, Sportivo TRD body graphics, LED bumper lights and fresh alloy wheel design.

For Thai markets Fortuner is sold with three engines, the biggest is the diesel four cylinder three liter engine that pumps out highest torque and power values of 360Nm and 171 hp, the same as Indian model. The three liter engine is offered with four and two wheel drive options, and the manual gearbox option. There is a petrol 2.7 liter engine that churns 241Nm and 160hp and rolled out in single automatic two wheel drive trim.

The basic Fortuner model runs on diesel 2.5 liter engine capacity and churns 343Nm and 144bhp and is sold in two wheel drive mode with automatic and manual transmission options.  TRD Sportivo Fortuner is a limited edition model and was launched by Toyota Kirloskar Motor sometime in 2013 October. Limited offer implies reduced duration to grab the car, and was on sale till 2013 December.

TRD Sportivo Fortuner is on the specials menu, and the specialty is inscribed in side body strips which take the center stage and also dual colored back and front bumper, radiator grille and lastly the most exciting aspect is the TRD Sportivo logo.  As special as the car is the color choices, which are one of those classic rare shades, Silver Mica Metallic and Super White. The Indian spec car costs Rs 24.26 lakhs.

Toyota Fortuner is a grand SUV and is an assortment of style and sportiness, and it is not so frequent that a TRD Sportivo Fortuner will emerge with colorful side decals. It is a common sight to witness side decals on small cars, but not so much on mighty SUV’s like Fortuner. The car market in India is huge with string of models from every quarter such as hatchbacks, sedans, SUV’s, Crosses, and the addition of Sportivo TRD Fortuner adds to the vibrant diversity.

Sportivo TRD Fortuner would have been sold in bulk because it is an exciting feel to indulge in a different make to the level of a sports car which is driven only on tracks. Now lucky ones in Bangkok can get a taste of vivacious and pulsating Sportivo TRD Fortuner. Let’s hope many more Sportivo models are launched in the near future.