After being in the red for three consecutive years, the Indian operations of the world’s largest car maker, Toyota Motor Corporation, have posted modest profit for 2014-15.
Toyota Kirloskar Motor has also been able to clear all the accumulated debt, Vice-Chairman Shekar Viswanathan told BusinessLine .
“A stable rupee and better sales have helped the company turn black,” he said.
He did not share the numbers as the profit and loss report was yet to be cleared by the board.
In 2013-14, Toyota Kirlsokar had posted a loss of around ₹63 crore, while its net sales declined 11 per cent to ₹13,216 crore.
N Raja, the company’s Senior Vice-President and Director for Sales & Marketing, said TKM has posted a sales growth of between 10 per cent and 15 per cent during the last six months compared with the same period of the previous year. The company grew as much as 16 per cent in the January-March 2015 quarter, whereas the passenger car market expanded by a mere 4 per cent for the same period.
Apart from better efficiencies in the system, the launch of a new model of its premium sedan, Corolla, and the Etios Cross helped the company to end the year on a positive note, he added.
The new Corolla sold about 6,500 units last fiscal, up by 2,000 from the previous year, while the Etios Cross sold about 9,000 units in 2014-15.
The SUV Fortuner, too, increased its market share by 5 per cent to 74 per cent, while its multi-purpose vehicle Innova continued its market dominance with a 33 per cent share. Toyota had also upgraded its mass segment sedan, Etios, as well as the hatchback, Liva.
After the launch of these two new models, the car-maker standardised the dual airbags across all grades in October. Sales between October 2014 and February 2015 grew 26 per cent because of higher sales of its new models.
Last year, the Etios was approved by the DGS&D (Director General Supply and Disposal), which will allow the car-maker to supply its vehicles to all government departments. The Indian Air Force has already placed orders for the Etios. Between 15,000 and 18,000 cars are replaced every year by various government departments and TKM expects substantial business from this segment.
Raja added that most online cab aggregators have booked Etios. “The maintenance cost of our cars is at least half of the leader in the industry,” he said.
However, Raja made it clear that there are no plans to launch new models during the current fiscal. The focus for the year will be on the Etios Liva Cross as well as the premium sedans, he added.