In a recent statement to Reuters, a senior executive from Toyota Motor Corp expressed optimism about the company’s prospects in India, foreseeing a record-breaking year in terms of sales. This surge in performance is attributed to Toyota’s strategic partnership with Suzuki Motor, which brings a range of affordable cars into their portfolio, capturing the attention of a new wave of customers.
Last year, Toyota successfully sold over 160,000 cars in India. As of the end of August this year, the company had already achieved sales close to 150,000, according to Atul Sood, the Vice President of Sales at Toyota. Sood confidently stated, “We are confident of closing this calendar year with our best ever performance and setting a new benchmark.”
Toyota’s India business has reaped significant benefits from its global collaboration with Suzuki. This partnership allows the two prominent Japanese automakers to share technology and vehicle models, creating a win-win scenario.
Maruti Suzuki’s mid-sized vehicles, such as the Glanza hatchback and the Urban Cruiser HyRyder SUV, have played a pivotal role in boosting Toyota’s sales in India. This comes at a time when Toyota is experiencing slowing growth in regions like Europe and North America, and facing fierce competition in Southeast Asia from Chinese automakers.
The Glanza, with an attractive starting price of around $8,500, and the HyRyder, beginning at $13,000, have found a solid market in India. In contrast, Toyota’s best-selling models like the Innova Crysta and the Fortuner SUV are priced at $24,000 and $40,000, respectively.
Industry data from the first eight months of 2023 reveals that cars from Maruti Suzuki constitute approximately 40% of Toyota’s total sales in India. This underscores the substantial impact of Maruti Suzuki’s offerings on Toyota’s performance in the Indian market.
Sood highlighted the fact that the HyRyder has attracted a fresh set of customers who are predominantly upgrading from smaller hatchbacks and SUVs. This shift in customer preferences reflects a trend where the majority of demand comes from a younger demographic.
With over 600 dealerships spread across India, Toyota has ambitious plans to further expand its presence, particularly in smaller cities. This expansion strategy aligns with the company’s aim to capture emerging markets and cater to a diverse range of Indian consumers.
As Toyota’s sales in India continue to thrive, driven by its partnership with Suzuki and the appeal of affordable models, the company remains poised for a remarkable year in 2023.