Toyota added the Yaris sedan to its India lineup last month. The Toyota Yaris sold in India is available as a hatchback too internationally. However, TKM has ruled out the Toyota Yaris hatchback for our market, reports carandbike.
Introduced at the Shanghai Auto Show in April 2013, the current Toyota Yaris (Asian market) received a facelift back in September 2017. Addressing the media at the Toyota Yaris sedan’s launch last week, N Raja, Deputy Manager Director, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, announced that the company has no plan to launch the Toyota Yaris hatchback in India. Mr. Raja has not given a specific reason behind the decision.
The Toyota Yaris hatchback measures 4,145 mm in length, 1,730 mm in width and 1,500 mm in height. It has a 2,550 mm wheelbase and a 135 mm ground clearance. Toyota offers it with a variety of small engines having displacements ranging from 1.2L to 1.5L globally. Had it decided to introduce this model in India, it would have had to reduce the length to duck under 4 metres for it to classify as a small car for lower taxation.
Also, the Toyota Yaris hatchback would have proved costly for our highly price-sensitive market. It comes fitted with a lot of safety equipment as standard, like 7 airbags, TRC, VSC, TRC and HAC. It goes without saying ABS with EBD and BA is a standard fitment as well.
TKM has a different plan to go against the likes of Hyundai i20 and Maruti Baleno now. It will launch a Toyota-badged Maruti Baleno under the new agreement that was announced in March this year. The Toyota-badged Maruti Baleno could have differently designed front grille, bumpers, headlamps and tail lamps, but that’s about it. In a bid to keep the costs as low as possible, minimal to no sheet metal changes are expected. Mechanical changes are also unlikely.
The Toyota Platinum Etios (Toyota Etios sedan) continues selling post the Toyota Yaris sedan’s launch. Similarly, the Toyota Etios Liva (Toyota Etios hatchback) may continue in the market after the Toyota-badged Maruti Baleno arrives. The new hatchback may have a higher pricing for it will offer better performance, more space and a number of additional convenience, comfort and safety features.
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The first rebadged models under the new agreement between Toyota and Suzuki are said to arrive in Q2 2019. The launch timeline for the Toyota-badged Maruti Baleno in particular is unknown.