By 2012, Toyota should start work on a compact MPV that will take on the likes of the Maruti R3 and GM's Chinese MPV. This will mark the company's re-entry into the inexpensive MPV segment it exited when the Qualis was withdrawn. Toyota's recent products have gained loud applause. The Etios, without any doubt, is composing history and headaches for the company. The Altis diesel is upping its game while the Innova is the irrefutable king of the Indian highway.
Toyota's faith in the Indian market will be at an all time high when it sets out to work on the small MPV that will fill the product lineup gap between the Etios and the Innova. Toyota need not work with a blank sheet of paper as the Etios platform is a solid base. The Avanza MPV sold in certain Asian regions is also a good option. If Toyota can plonk the 1.4-liter diesel engine from the Corolla under the Avanza's bonnet, we say the product is good to go.
When we talked to Toyota officials about the chance of the Etios platform being used for a MPV, they termed it as speculation. Clearly, they were not pleased on us speaking about this product that is at least three years away from a Toyota dealership.
SRK took the Avanza MPV and gave it the Etios' front-end. We have to wait and see what Toyota chooses to do to realize its small MPV dreams.