While the discussion about the value of the yen continues (also at TTAC), the exodus from Japan is picking up steam. Toyota is joining other carmakers that quietly turn India into a car export nation to be reckoned with. Toyota’s Chief Engineer Yoshinori Noritake (above) soon will be able to smile: Toyota’s subsidiary in India will export Toyota’s and Noritake’s “BRIC car”, the Etios, to South Africa in March 2012.
According to a statement, “the models for export will be based on the Etios platform currently sold in India, but will be developed and produced to fit the lifestyles, consumer preferences, climate, road conditions and usage considerations in South Africa.” Both the original Etios and the Etios Liva hatchback will go to South Africa.
Toyota will nearly double its current Indian capacity of 160,000 vehicles to 310,000 vehicles in 2013, and is committed “to developing India into a global production and supply base for vehicles and transmissions.”
Exports from India are up strongly. While total production in India rose 16 percent from April to August 2011, automobile exports were up 31 percent in the same period.