Toyota aims at providing India with safe cars

[tps_header]Toyota Motor Corp in a bold move has decided to aim at the premium segment and provide the Indian market with safer cars.[/tps_header]

India is considered to be a testing ground for smaller and entry-level cars. Ironically, different companies use the world’s most dangerous road (Indian) to test the unsafe cars. The cars that we get also compromise a lot safety features, the same cars in other countries (especially western) are equipped with a lot of safety features. India is the sixth largest automobile market in the world. But, still the market has not even seen a lot safety features.

Toyota Motor Corp in such circumstances has decided to play it the other way. Naomi Ishii, the Japanese Managing Director of the company’s Indian division, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, told ET that the company is planning to make dual airbags standard in the company’s prime models such as the Innova, the family MPV and the SUV Fortuner which will help them increase their 5% market share.

“We don’t want to … just introduce a price-competitive car,” Ishii told Reuters in an interview at Toyota’s India headquarters in Bengaluru’s business district. “In case we introduce a smaller car, it should have very advanced features in safety, fuel efficiency and exhaust emissions. The price might be higher, but we can show this is the direction.”

What the Japanese automaker is trying to do is establish the name Toyota as a safe car manufacturer in the Indian market. For this, the company is aiming at the premium segment and will target the wealthier middle-class people who don’t wish to compromise their safety for an extra infotainment system. But, Toyota will not let the entry-level or small-car segment for that, after all that is what sells the most. The company is expected to bring in Daihatsu to counter this. The sister company will handle the small-car range while Toyota will aim at the bigger target.

Whatever, it may be. This move of the company will give us a options for safer cars, which is very important. It is worth a thought, is it the attitude of the Indian buyer or the automakers’ policy that is keeping the market away from safer cars? However, the time seems to be changing.

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