Toyota Kirloskar studying the possibility of phasing out Yaris

K Giriprakash Bengaluru | Updated on April 07, 2021

The model has not been able to compete with peers

Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) is studying the possibility of phasing out Yaris, the sedan model which was launched in May 2018.

Last year, the car-maker had phased out three variants of the Yaris, including two manual transmission and one CVT automatic transmission models. In 2019, Toyota Kirloskar had phased out compact sedan, Etios and its hatchback version, Etios Liva.

Sources close to the company told BusinessLine that sales of Yaris have been going down for some time now and it has not been able to face competition from Honda City, Maruti Suzuki Ciaz and Hyundai Verna.

When contacted, a Toyota Kirloskar Motor spokesperson said, “at TKM, we are committed to delivering the highest quality and providing complete customer satisfaction by way of our products and service offerings. Accordingly, we continue to sell the world-class sedan, Toyota Yaris and cater to the market needs and consumer requirements.

“Further, as a part of Toyota’s product strategy, our practice is to continuously study and evaluate the market to understand the ever-changing needs, customer preferences and trends. Beyond this, we won’t be able to share any specifics pertaining to our future business/product plans.”

Interestingly, in the US market, Toyota decided to discontinue the sedan and hatchback versions of Yaris in January 2020.

Plants’ capacity

Currently, Yaris is being produced at the second plant of Toyota Kirloskar at Bidadi, 32 km from Bangalore. The installed capacity of the second plant is 2.1 lakh units a year. Its first plant has a capacity to produce 1 lakh units a year. The first plant is used to manufacture Innova and Fortuner cars.

Toyota Etios and Etios Liva were made specifically for the Indian market but they were phased out ahead of the adoption of the BS-VI norms by carmakers. The Toyota-Kirloskar plant has been hit by frequent strike by workers, with the one in November last year being the longest since the company started its operations in India in 1999. Such frequent disruptions have hit production.

Surprisingly, since the lifting of the lockdown, Toyota Kirloskar has been posting good sales. In March, it sold a total of 15,001 units registering its highest-ever domestic sales in the month of March since 2013. It sold 7,023 units in March 2020 around the time a nationwide lockdown was imposed due to the pandemic.

Published on April 07, 2021

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