With rumors coming in that Toyota is repositioning its planned FT-86 “Toyobaru” sports coupe to reflect higher price and higher buyer age targets, word around the enthusiast fring of the autoblogosphere has been downright apocalyptic. After all, the promised combination of a $20k base price, manual transmission and rear-wheel-drive were what launched the FT-86 to internet notoriety. But development overruns are a fact of life, and Toyota says it has no choice but to bump the FT-86’s projected price point to $23k base, $26k loaded-level. So while the FT-86 faces the bloat that comes with a more upmarket target, another sports coupe aimed at undercutting the FT-86’s prices by about $5k is already under development according to Road & Track.
Business Week reports that Toyota are planning to capture 10% of the Indian market. “India will play a pivotal role in Toyota’s global expansion plans,” Vice Chairman Kazuo Okamoto said today at the Delhi Auto Show. “The time has come for us to strategically accelerate our growth here.” Toyota is using the Delhi Auto show to showcase the cars which will lead the assault for 10% of the Indian market, the most important of which is Toyota Etios (which will also be produced in Brazil). Autocar.co.uk reports that Etios is 90% production ready and that it will go on sale in India at the end of 2010 (with first-year sales projected at 70k units). Because of the price (around $10000) it’ll go head to head with the Maruti Swift, the very boys who hold a huge chunk of the Indian car market. To help combat Maruti, a larger and better quality interior is key to the Etios. Autocar also reports that in order to keep costs under control, Toyota went on a cost cutting exercise. Measures taken include, limited sound proofing, a hard, but durable, interior and one windscreen wiper. But before you cry “Toyota are turning into GM”, don’t be fooled. Toyota tried the same thing with the Aygo in Europe and the end result was a good car which sells very well.