The Asahi Shimbun, one of Japan’s most read newspapers, had recently reported that Toyota is planning to create a new brand and offer low cost cars in India at around US $6000 (approx Rs. 3.5 lakhs). The report mentioned that this car could see a 2016 launch.
Reacting to the report, a Toyota spokesperson has played down the possibility and stated no such plans exist. The Etios remains as the cheapest offering in their portfolio, designed for emerging markets. The segment in which the speculated car was to be launched is teeming with competition. The perception is competing so down the price ladder can harm Toyota as a brand.
Toyota wants to achieve 50% of its global sales from emerging markets and cars like the Etios are hugely important for meeting that target.
Though Toyota doesn't have any plans to go neck deep into the lower segments that attract two-wheeler graduates, second hand car owners and people buying cars sitting on antiquated platforms, Nissan is reviving the Datsun brand for the very same reasons.
Datsun will bring its line up of cost effective cars in the next two years. The first model sits on the V-Platform that underpins the Micra followed by a model to compete with the Alto, Eon and Santro on a completely new platform.
Toyota has introduced market-specific brands such as the Scion, to target American youth, and Daihatsu to sell cars cheaper that Toyota in Asian countries.