As Toyota puts its, the ‘World First, India First’ Etios, has set sail to the shores of South Africa on 4th April 2012. The first shipment of 247 units from the Etios series ( that is, the Etios sedan and the Liva hatchback) were driven onto a cargo vessel, to be delivered to customers in South Africa.
Toyota aims to export around 20,000 vehicles per annum.
The export model of Etios will be built on the same platform as Etios and Etios Liva at TKM’s second plant in the quiet outskirts of Bidadi. The export model will of course be customized to suit the local requirements. The company will export only the petrol variants of the Etios and the Liva.
Toyota has milked the event for what its worth by having a first of its kind export ceremony with the guest list including Mr. R. Ashoka, Honorable Minister for Home and Transport, Govt. of Karnataka, Mr. Murugesh R. Nirani, Honorable Minister of Industries, Govt. of Karnataka, Mr. S. Velumani, CMD, Ennore Port, Mr. Ambuj Sharma, Joint Secretary, Dept of Heavy Industries and His Excellency Mr. Masanori Nakano, Consulate General of Japan in Chennai. Mr. Takashi Sakai, Executive Vice President, Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) was also present at the event.
Quotes from the senior management at TKM and Toyota Motors Asia Pacific
Commenting on the accomplishment, Mr. Vikram Kirloskar, Vice Chairman, TKM, said, “It is a very proud moment for all of us in Toyota Kirloskar Motor as we flag off the first ever Etios export consignment to South Africa. As we begin a new chapter of business with the start of the exports, I would like to express my gratitude to all our employees, our partners and suppliers for their efforts which has made it possible to achieve this milestone.”
Present at the occasion, Mr. Vicente Socco, Executive Vice President, Toyota Motor Asia Pacific commented, “The start of the export operations at TKM denotes the growing role of TKM in Toyota’s global operations. India has always been a very important market for us and it is further reiterated with the advent of the Etios export to South Africa. TKM’s foray into the export market promises a lot of growth for the company.”
Also speaking on the occasion, Mr. Hiroshi Nakagawa, Managing Director, TKM said, “Toyota Kirloskar Motor has a come a long way since its inception in India and with the advent of the export of the Etios, we have been successful in completing our vision of making Toyota India operations a strategic hub for both the domestic and global market. Exporting the Etios to South Africa would also mean showcasing the advanced technology and superior quality features that have been developed by Toyota for Etios. We are convinced that the Etios will be successful in delivering Toyota’s promise of quality in South Africa too”.