Toyota's Etios Coming To China?

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
toyota s etios coming to china

Toyota is working on a small car based on its emerging market platform that underpins the Indian Etios, and will release it in China by 2013 – if The Nikkei [sub] is correctly informed. There is nobody working at Toyota on Thursdays and Fridays as a power saving measure, so there is nobody to ask. We expect no more than the usual “we cannot comment on future models” when people will be back to work on Saturday. With that in mind, let’s go down rumor lane.

Using the Etios platform for China would not come as a surprise. It is Toyota’s low cost car that had been developed with all emerging markets in mind. Toyota had launched it in India, because “if we are successful here, we will be successful in other emerging markets,” said Toyota’s Chief Engineer Yoshinori Noritake. The platform is built so that it can be adapted to the needs of the respective target market. It is a real car, not a sardine can on wheels.

A Brazilian derivative is in the works, a Russian derivative may be in the works. It would be a sin not to make a Chinese derivative. When we tested the Indian spec Etios on the Fuji Speedway a few weeks ago, Toyota folk mentioned that the Chinese market demands a lot of car for little money, so they obviously had done some homework, and may have already played around with more wheelbase on the CAD computer.

Having been overtaken by Nissan in Chinese volume, Toyota needs a low cost winner in China.

The Nikkei says that production of the car is planned at “two local factories” in China. Two factories maybe, but unlikely with two joint ventures as the Nikkei surmises. Toyota has a joint venture with FAW near the eastern port city of Tianjin. Toyota also has a joint venture with Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. in China’s south. It would be against all Chinese customs if two joint venture partners would get the same car. Toyota is busy expanding capacities at both, so let’s see who will get it.

China Daily reports today that Toyota is working on raising engine output capacity in China “by 30 percent to 1.3 million units a year in 2013.” This added capacity will be spread over both joint venture partners. According to China Daily, the “1300cc and 1500cc” engines will “power a low-cost, compact car planned for the world’s biggest market.” The Indian Etios comes with a 1,500 cc engine, and the Etios Liva hatchback comes with a 1,200 cc engine.

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  • Pete Zaitcev Pete Zaitcev on Jul 29, 2011

    That "sardine can" reference was a shot at Nano, right?

  • JD-Tippit JD-Tippit on Jul 30, 2011

    Don't know why but the Etios never appealed to my tastes. It really does look like 90s sedan built by GM. Unfortunately, 3rd world consumers moving up from Ambassadors and Ladas will be sold on this.

  • Fahrvergnugen NA Miata goes topless as long as roads are dry and heater is running, windscreen in place.
  • 3SpeedAutomatic As a side note, have you looked at a Consumers Report lately? In the past, they would compare 3 or 4 station wagons, or compact SUVs, or sedans per edition. Now, auto reporting is reduced to a report on one single vehicle in the entire edition. I guess CR realized that cars are not as important as they once were.
  • Fred Private equity is only concerned with making money. Not in content. The only way to deal with it, is to choose your sites wisely. Even that doesn't work out. Just look at AM/FM radio for a failing business model that is dominated by a few large corporations.
  • 3SpeedAutomatic Lots of dynamics here:[list][*]people are creatures of habit, they will stick with one or two web sites, one or two magazines, etc; and will only look at something different if recommended by others[/*][*]Generation Y & Z is not "car crazy" like Baby Boomers. We saw a car as freedom and still do. Today, most youth text or face call, and are focused on their cell phone. Some don't even leave the house with virtual learning[/*][*]New car/truck introductions are passé; COVID knocked a hole in car shows; spectacular vehicle introductions are history.[/*][*]I was in the market for a replacement vehicle, but got scared off by the current used and new prices. I'll wait another 12 to 18 months. By that time, the car I was interested in will be obsolete or no longer available. Therefore, no reason to research till the market calms down. [/*][*]the number of auto related web sites has ballooned in the last 10 to 15 years. However, there are a diminishing number of taps on their servers as the Baby Boomers and Gen X fall off the radar scope. [/*][/list]Based on the above, the whole auto publishing industry (magazine, web sites, catalogs, brochures, etc) is taking a hit. The loss of editors and writers is apparent in all of publishing. This is structural, no way around it.
  • Dukeisduke I still think the name Bzzzzzzzzzzt! would have been better.
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