Toyota is planning to join the Indian B-car segment with its new 2011 Etios sedan. The Etios will compete with the likes of Tata and Ford Focus in India. In addition, a hatchback Etios Liva will join in April as well. Toyota expects to attract potential customers with the Etios’ starting low price, which is about 496,000 Rupees or an equivalent of $11,000 U.S.
The 2011 Toyota Etios will be powered by a 1.5-liter inline-four engine and matched to a five-speed manual transmission. The frugal engine produces about 89 horsepower and 97 pound-feet of torque, which the Etios is suitable of obtaining about 41 miles per gallon.
To keep the cost down, the interior of the Etios is rather simplistic with the use of a center-mounted instrument panel. Extra amenities such as steering-mounted audio controls and red seat inserts are available in higher-end models. The 2011 Toyota Etios is made available in four trims of J, G, V and VX. The starting pricing is about 496,000 Rupeess and up all the way to 686,000 Rupees ($15,287) for the Etios VX top-of-the-line model.
In comparison, the Tata is still relatively cheap at around $2,200. So, Tata is pretty much safe for now, and only if it didn’t catch on fire so much.
[ title=”Press Release”]
Toyota Launches the Etios Sedan
December 1, 2010, Bangalore:
* Akio Toyoda, President TMC launches the Etios
* Price of Etios Sedan is between 4,96,000/- and 6,86,500/ ex showroom Delhi
* Bookings for the sedan start today
* Hatchback to be launched in April 2011
* Hatchback is named ‘Etios Liva’
December 1, 2010, Bangalore:Toyota Kirloskar Motor launched the Etios Sedan today, marking the company’s entry into the highly competitive B Segment in India. The Etios has been developed specifically for Indian customers – ‘World First, India First, My First’.
The Etios sedan will be available in four variants, J, G, V and VX, competitively priced between 4,96,000/- and 6,86,500/- ex showroom Delhi. The product highlights include innovative styling, best-in-class cabin and luggage space, superior comfort, impressive fuel efficiency and the legendary Toyota QDR.
The Etios was launched by Mr. Akio Toyoda, President of Toyota Motor Corporation and scion of Toyota’s founding family, on his maiden visit to India after taking over as the Head of the company. Also present were Mr. Akira Okabe (Senior Managing Director, TMC), Mr. Soichiro Okudaira (Managing Officer, TMC), Mr. Osamu Nagata (Managing Officer, TMC), Mr. Yoshinori Noritake (Chief Engineer – Etios, TMC), Mr. Vikram Kirloskar (Vice Chairman, TKM), Mr. Hiroshi Nakagawa (Managing Director, TKM) and Mr. Sandeep Singh (Deputy Managing Director-Marketing, TKM).
Commenting on the launch of the Etios, Mr. Akio Toyoda, President TMC said: “India is a key market for our overall strategic growth plans, and the launch of the Etios is definitely a milestone not only for Toyota in India but for Toyota globally. Toyota strongly believes in the ‘customer first’ philosophy, hence it was important to collect valuable feedback from our prospective customers right from the concept stage to what the Etios is today. We at Toyota believe, ‘the road makes the car’ and the Etios is a product of real-world testing on roads across India. Our testing has covered a hundred thousand kilometers on every kind of road that Indian drivers encounter, from Kolkata to Mumbai, from the Himalayan foothills to the tip of the Indian peninsula.
We at Toyota will continue listening carefully to Indian customers to stay in touch with their changing expectations. We will respond quickly with technological development and continue providing products that Indian customers will love.”
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Hiroshi Nakagawa, MD TKM, said: “The Etios is very important to us, and its launch today marks the beginning of a new era for Toyota in India. In fact this launch will enable Indian customers in the middle income group to own an aspirational Toyota vehicle for the first time. I proudly also announce that production of the Etios will begin as planned in our new plant which is the most environmentally friendly automobile manufacturing plant in the country today.
Earlier this year we announced our plans to locally produce engines and transmissions at the Toyota Kirloskar Auto Parts in the third quarter of 2012 that will help us increase the localisation content of the Etios. Toyota in India will facilitate not just economic growth but social growth as well of the region it operates in, and in turn strive to be the most loved and admired company.”
Mr. Yoshinori Noritake, Chief Engineer of the Etios spoke about the development of the product, he said: “It was very important to understand the needs of Indian car buyers before designing an India specific car. We learnt that Indian customers are very price conscious but at the same time want space and comfort for their family, and style to enhance their status. One of the strong points of the Etios sedan is its true sedan design – designed on a sedan platform and not as a hatch with a boot – smart packaging that makes it compact at the same time spacious. More than 2000 engineers from Japan and India have worked in close collaboration over the last four years with a vision to offer Etios customers the ‘joy of ownership’ and ‘quality of life’.”
Talking about the Etios Sales and Marketing strategy in India, Sandeep Singh, DMD-Marketing, TKM, said: “We have planned an elaborate marketing strategy to warm up to our target customer and through our various campaigns we aim to successfully establish the Etios brand in India. To start with we signed on Mr. A.R.Rahman as our Brand Ambassador to establish an instant connect between the Etios values and Indian masses. We are committed to give our customers a Q-Class experience through a sales and service network that will be expanded to 150 dealerships by the end of this year. The bookings for the Etios sedan start today and deliveries will begin in January 2011.
We would also like to use this occasion to announce the name of the Hatchback version: Etios Liva, which will go on sale in April 2011.”
A distinctive front grille with a smile line, sculpted surface and dynamic character-line in the front and rear, enhance the presence of the Etios. The rear has a fluent flowing C pillar, rounded end and three-dimensional combination lamps that enrich the vehicle’s exterior from different angles.
The seats are ergonomically designed units with integrated head rests. An instrument panel clearly divided into the information area and operation area with a large centre meter provides excellent visibility. The Etios has class best cabin and luggage space of 595L, a spacious 13L cooled glove box, seven one litre bottle holders, mobile holder and many more such useful storage spaces inside the car.
(c) Performance and Comfort
A newly developed 1.5L, 16V DOHC engine coupled with a 5-Speed manual transmission that produces high output for best-in-class driving performance. The torque is available at low rpm for less gear shifting and stress-free city driving.
The Etios has a superior mileage of 17.6kmpl which is ARAI tested.
Electric power steering for excellent maneuverability and tilt steering ensures a good ergonomic driving experience. The steering comes with audio controls for comfort at the driver’s fingertips.
The flat type rear floor design offers ease of movement for rear seat passengers. With its rigid body structure and world class Mac Pherson Strut, the Etios has superior dampening performance providing superior ride comfort.
A class-first ‘clean air filter’ which is standard across all grades for purified air in the cabin.
The Etios has various active and passive safety features ensuring the car matches global safety standards. The various safety features are (i) Energy absorbing body shell (ii) Driver & Passenger Air bags and (iii) ABS with EBD.
Its centrally located combimeter reduces eye movement and hence the driver can concentrate on the road.
(e) Special Treatment
To adopt to the various diverse climate and usage conditions in India, special treatment and countermeasures have been implemented:
– Good ground clearance of 170mm
– Under body protection to prevent damage to fuel and brake lines
– Anti-corrosion steel sheets at areas prone to rusting and stone hits
– Chipping resistant paint on rocker mould & fender