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Maruti, Hyundai and others not worried over Toyota’s Etios
NEW DELHI, NOV 20 (AGENCIES):
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Published on 20 Nov. 2010 11:45 PM IST
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Toyota Motor Corporation’s competitors in India, including Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL), don’t seem to be losing sleep over the world’s largest automobile manufacturer’s announcement to launch its much-awaited small car, Etios, next month. They are banking on their unique selling proposition (USP), brand strength and distribution network to see through the competition.
Sources at Maruti Suzuki said there were no plans to initiate price-cuts or tweak the product line-up to beat competition.
“Over 70 per cent of our customers purchase products on recommendation from existing Maruti Suzuki owners. Not only are our prices competitive, our cost of ownership is also lower than others. That is our USP,” they said. HMIL – which registers over 90 per cent of its sales from the compact car segment, with Santro, i10 and i20 – is banking on its brand strength and distribution network to see through the competition.
Skoda recently introduced a refreshed Fabia in the domestic market with add-on features. The entry-level version costs Rs 29,000 less than the earlier variant and is expected to shore up volumes for the company. Fabia, which was selling around 800 units a month, has over 2,500 bookings, according to company officials. Skoda plans to launch a sedan in the Indian market in the second half of next year. Hyundai, too, is considering a new car to replace Elantra by the end of next year.
Etios, to be available in sedan and hatchback versions, will compete with best-selling models from the Maruti Suzuki fold — Dzire and Swift, the benchmark products in the mid-size sedan and premium compact car categories. While the Etios hatchback will cost around `4.3-4.8 lakh, the sedan will be priced between Rs. 5 lakh to Rs.5.5 lakh.At present, Maruti sells close to 13,000 units of Swift and another 10,000 units of Swift Dzire a month.
While Toyota will launch the sedan next month, the hatchback is expected to be rolled out early next year. The car would be Toyota’s cheapest offering in the Indian market after multi-utility vehicle Innova, priced Rs. 8.1 lakh onwards.
The company intends to sell 70,000 units of Etios in 2011.

 
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