Faced with an unprecedented demand for its India-exclusive mid-sized sedan Etios, Toyota has deferred the launch of its small car Liva to June, and begun double shift operation in its second car plant.
The company has been making around 2,200 units of the Etios, but has already got over 27,000 bookings for the car. With the waiting period now stretching to over 6 months for some variants, the company decided to defer the launch of the small car and concentrate on cutting down the backlog on the sedan.
"Ideally, we would like to bring down the waiting period for the car to 2-3 months," said Sandeep Singh, deputy managing director (marketing and sales), Toyota Kirloskar Motor Ltd. "We did a short survey among our customers and realised that unlike for our SUV like Fortuner, customers do not want to be kept waiting for a sedan for long. Hence we are increasing production to meet the existing demand." The Fortuner has a waiting period of 3-4 months after booking before it is delivered.
The company had earlier announced that it would launch the Etios Liva in April. Toyota's second plant in Bangalore, which has a terminal capacity of 70,000 units per annum, is the production centre for both Etios and Liva. Toyota has said it would not stop bookings of the Etios like it has done with the Fortuner.
"We have just started our second shift, which would double the Etios production to over 4,500 units per month and we are hopeful the waiting period would come down now," Singh said. "Also we want to be more prepared with the small car for which we expect the demand to be as high if not higher. We will not start pre-launch bookings. The car would be available at dealerships around the country on the day of the launch."