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Monday, 27 June 2011

Toyota launches Etios Liva at Rs 3.99 lakh, may trigger price war

Etios Liva, Toyota's new small car for India, which was launched in New Delhi on Monday, is all set to face tremendous competition in the coming months. With a starting price of just Rs 3.99 lakhs and going up to Rs 5.99 lakh, Etios Liva will be taking all major car companies head on.

CHECK OUT: Liva's competition in the market 

The much-awaited launch was followed up to the last hour, even as media reports suggested the brochure of the launch got leaked on Sunday. However, not much damage seemed to have been done since the specs were on lines of expectations.

Japanese car maker Toyota Kirloskar had earlier deferred the launch of Liva in April. However, with the overwhelming response it got for its sedan Etios, Toyota brought forward the launch date to June, to reduce the long waiting period for the car.

Liva is essentially a hatchback version of the car which will be seen with a smaller 1.2-litre petrol engine and soon a 1.4-litre diesel as well.

MUST READ: Etios threatens others in sedan segment

Toyota Motor's Indian unit expects to sell more than 1,00,000 Etios sedans and hatchbacks in 2012, Sandeep Singh, deputy managing director of Toyota Kirloskar, said.

Liva will be available in four variants - J, G, V and VX, and just like it's sedan sibling (Etios), it will come with a cooled 13 liter glovebox that will be common to all the variants.

The new car in the hatchback segment produces 80 Bhp power and 104 Nm torque output. The high point doing the rounds is the ARAI certified 18.31 KMPL fuel economy, which is expected to really move things for Toyota - given the rising petrol prices and the Etios Liva Diesel entering the market only by the end of the year.

"With Liva, we will now be a complete manufacturer in India, offering a full range of products including the luxury SUV Prado...Liva is a very useful stylish and dynamic car," Toyota Kirloskar Motor Managing Director Hiroshi Nakagawa told reporters in the national capital.

Keeping the target customer in mind, the auto major has lined up a slew of youthful activities as part Liva's marketing campaign. The show stopper is the TV ad campaign, featuring music composed by A R Rahman.

India is one of the largest markets for small cars and it is not difficult to see why. The high cost of owning and running vehicles and a lack of basic road infrastructure has ensured that one of the world's most populous countries has not yet caught on with the automotive revolution.

The concept vehicles of the Etios and Etios Liva were first unveiled at the Auto Expo last year in Delhi, creating a buzz, and later traveled across the country with the 'Toyota Q-World' - reaching out to more than 1 lakh prospective customers.

FIRST LOOK: Pictures from the auto expo 

Japan's earthquake and tsunami in March have pushed the Honda Brio project back slightly but rest assured, everything is back on track. Honda expects to launch the Brio in the festive season.

One cannot mention small cars and not talk about the Maruti Suzuki, the king of small cars. While the company is going through its share of problems, its plan of introducing the new Swift remains unchanged, though it might be delayed in the current circumstances.

Maruti's arch rival Hyundai is also gearing up launch the i10 in its diesel avatar, with a small 1.2- litre engine.

Also jumping on to the diesel bandwagon is the Chevrolet from General Motors India with its Beat model. Beat has done well for the company with its sharp styling and low maintenance.

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