Monday, August 24, 2009

Toyota launches sports utility vehicle Fortuner

Japanese car maker Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) Monday launched its sports utility vehicle (SUV) Fortuner here.

Priced at Rs.18.45 lakh -- ex-showroom in Delhi -- the Toyota Fortuner is now available in India in only its diesel variant.

The car is available in five colours -- white, silver, grey, black and light blue.

"Fortuner has sold 250,000 units in more than 60 countries since its launch in 2005," said Toyota Motor Corp senior managing director Akira Okabe at the launch.

The SUV will be assembled at Toyota's Bidadi plant off Bangalore, Okabe told reporters.

Powered with five-speed manual transmission, the Fortuner offers high-ground clearance, long wheelbase, climate control air-conditioning, steering control switches, third row seats and leather interiors.

Toyota expects to sell about 2,000 units of Fortuner this year.

"We are confident that we will sell about 52,000 vehicles (of the existing models) plus about 2,000 units of Fortuner this year," said Toyota Kirloskar vice chairman Vikram Kirloskar.

"Automobile market in India has shown robust growth in India. Toyota will introduce new models and expand its network to capture this growing market," added Toyota Kirloskar managing director Hiroshi Nakagawa.

The company plans to launch a compact car in the Indian market by the end of 2010 or by January 2011.

Toyota's current market share is close to three percent in the passenger car segment, which it expects to grow in double digits with the launch of its compact car.

"We have not enjoyed much profit because of the recession. Globally, Toyota has fared miserably and compared to that, India is much more profitable," Nakagawa said.

The company may also scale down its investment in the country in order to ride out the rough weather, he added.
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