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Fifty Indian engineers involved in developing Toyota’s compact car

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Mr Hiroshi Nakagawa, Managing Director, Toyota Kirloskar Motor. —
Mr Hiroshi Nakagawa, Managing Director, Toyota Kirloskar Motor. —

Our Bureau

Chennai, Aug 6 About 50 Indian engineers are working in the development of Toyota’s compact car slated to be launched in India by Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) two years from now.

Speaking to media on the sidelines of the launch of traffic safety education initiative, the Managing Director of TKM, Mr Hiroshi Nakagawa, said the new compact car is currently under development at Toyota Motor Corporation’s R&D in Japan with significant contribution from Indian engineers. At present a contingent of 50 engineers are involved in the project, he said.

Asked if Toyota Motor Corporation is developing the compact car on the lines of Innova (where the development and manufacturing of modules for the vehicle were carried out in different countries), he said, Innova, was a utility vehicle while the proposed car will be different not only in terms of model but also strategy. The company plans a sedan and a hatchback in the proposed compact car.

Unlike Innova, which was launched in overseas markets first and latter came to India, the proposed car would be initially introduced in India. Initially the company would source components from Toyota’s facilities outside India. However, the goal is to have high local content to make the car competitive, he indicated. Therefore TKM would look at manufacturing engines also for the compact car in India, he added.

New initiative

Tamil Nadu Government is planning to introduce road safety as part of the curriculum for school students. At the launch of Toyota Safety Education Programme, an interactive learning programme initiated by Toyota Kirloskar Motor Ltd (TKM), held at Chettinad Vidyashram School, the Joint Commissioner of Transport Department of Tamil Nadu, Mr Narayana Moorthy, said the government is considering introducing a subject on road safety for school students.

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(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 7, 2008)
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