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Toyota low-cost car strategy poised to roll out

From| February 16,2007

Toyota seems certain to build a new factory in India by 2010 to produce cheap, small cars to strengthen its position in the emerging BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India, China) markets. India itself is a prime sales target. Toyota has only a 4% share of the local market, trailing far behind Suzuki and Hyundai.

The company plans to spend 40-50 billion yen ($330-$413 million) on the facility, which will be built near the Toyota Kirloskar factory in Bangalore, according to the Nikkei business newspaper. The plant will initially produce 100,000 entry-level, family style vehicles priced at around 800,000 yen ($6,610), making them the lowest-priced vehicles in Toyota's lineup, according to the report. Priced at about $6,500, Toyota’s all-new low-cost car will be launched in India and other BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia and China). The first moves could come as early as April this year, according to some reports. Toyota Kirloskar executives say India is indeed a favoured location for the new global budget car but are not over-confident about Bangalore becoming a single global manufacturing hub for the type, admitting that TKM is not yet cost-competitive with other Toyota operations worldwide.

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