Toyota Kirloskar Motor Ltd on Friday announced that it would begin assembling the Japanese carmaker's globally popular sedan Camry locally at its Bangalore plant from July, with the first batch of the re-priced version coming out in August.
Toyota has been importing around 300 units of the Camry every year from Japan. Unlike competitors in the same mid-level luxury segment like Volkswagen, Skoda and Honda, Toyota's Indian arm imports what are known as completely built units (CBUs) which carry a 100-per cent import duty. Assembling the car in India would enable the company to price it competitively.
Speaking to reporters after flagging off exports of the entry-level sedan Etios and its hatchback version Liva to South Africa, Toyota Kirloskar's deputy managing director (marketing) Sandeep Singh said that the company has decided to go ahead with the plan despite an increase in duty on completely knocked down (CKD) cars.
The government recently hiked the duty on CKD units, where the parts are imported but assembled in India, to 50 per cent.
Singh further said Toyota is investing some Rs900 crore towards capacity expansion at its Bidadi factory to take its overall capacity to 310,000 units by next year.
The company has also started export of its entry level sedan Etios and its hatchback variant Liva, with the first consignment of 247 cars to South Africa. Toyota is targeting exports of 20,000 units of the two cars to the South African market this year.
''Our focus in India will be semi-urban and rural markets to support our growth,'' he said. The number of dealers would be increased from 173 to 225 by the end of the year, he added.