Apr 10, 2009

Toyota's Fortuner set for Indian launch in September

The Fortuner, Toyta's best-selling sports utility vehicle model, is set to make its Indian entry in September, Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt Ltd announced on Wednesday. The vehicle will be assembled at Toyota Kirloskar's factory at Bidadi near Bangalore.

Toyota Kirloskar is 89-per cent owned by Japanese-based Toyota Motor Corp, the world's largest car-maker. The remainder is held by India's Kirloskar Group. The Indian version of the Fortuner will be powered by a three-litre diesel engine, and is expected to cost around Rs20 lakh.

"The Fortuner is an important addition to our product line-up in India and we are currently in the process of finalising details for the launch," said Sandeep Singh, deputy managing director for marketing at Toyota Kirloskar.

The company already produces the Innova multipurpose vehicle and the Corolla sedan at its 60,000-unit-a-year Bidai factory. It also sells the Camry sedan and Land Cruiser Prado SUV as direct imports, rather than assembled from 'completely knocked down' units as the Fortuner will be.

Singh said, "Entering the SUV space was a natural extension to our multi-purpose vehicle business. Though we already have the LandCruiser Prado (petrol variant) in this segment, Fortuner will be our actual entry into the Indian SUV market."

Singh said that as the Fortuner will be assembled in India, the company is looking at higher volumes to capture the luxury SUV segment. It will compete with other luxury cars like the Mercedes Benz, Audi and BMW, he said.
Toyota Kirloskar is building a new 100,000-unit-a-year plant at the same location in Bidadi. The company plans to start production of its first ''strategic'' small car in India at the new plant in for launch in 2111.

Source: Domain-b.com

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