Toyota has confirmed that it will launch the Corolla Altis diesel in India during August. Indians have waited way too long for this model, which should automatically force Honda to speed up their diesel engine plans for Civic.
Indian Autos Blog contacted Mr.Sandeep Singh, Deputy Managing Director of Toyota Kirloskar Motors, regarding the diesel model and he had this to say -
We will launch the Toyota Corolla Altis diesel in August for India. We will bring it to India in the form of CKD.
Mr.Singh had expressed interest in the Altis diesel last year, and during the Land Cruiser Prado launch, it only got stronger. During the launch, he reaffirmed that Toyota were keen on launching the diesel model in India.
Today we asked him about the preparations for the Etios launch in the coming months. He noted that only a sedan and a hatchback variant will be launched, and there were no plans for a seven seat MPV, as reported earlier by us. Two petrol engines have been finalized for the Etios twins, but Toyota has started studying the possibility of diesel engine for Etios after heavy number of requests by guests and customers during the Auto Expo and the Q World program.
We hoped to get an exciting answer from him regarding the possibility of a hybrid Etios. Couldn't it be an affordable hybrid hatchback for India? Mr.Singh was quick to play down our imagination and maintained that internal combustion engines were the way ahead.
As for the Toyota Fortuner, Mr.Singh said TKM is facing a shortage of supply for the diesel model. For the next two years, there would be no A/T version, as automatic SUVs in this segment only constitute 15-20% of the entire volume.