Toyota considers challenging Suzuki’s market leader position over the small car segment in India, by bringing the Daihatsu brand in the country.
It is highly probable that India will surpass Germany and Japan and become the world’s third auto market for new cars, just behind China and the United States. Some analysts forecast this direction will turn into a fact before the end of the decade. And in a country where there are so many environmental and traffic issues, the demand for small cars is booming. Therefore, Toyota is studying whether a move to enter with its Daihatsu unit in India now is justifiable, a scenario that would definitely challenge the small cars market leader Suzuki Motor. If Toyota puts its plans into practice, it would require the development of all-new models and give the automaker the chance to introduce smaller cars at competitive prices, Bloomberg said, citing Naomi Ishii, managing director of Toyota’s India unit, from an interview at the New Delhi auto show.
If it is a fierce competition between Daihatsu and Suzuki Motor in Japan, where both carmakers hold each about 30 percent of the minivehicle market, Suzuki dominating in India through Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. However, it received last month the go-ahead from shareholders to bypass its Indian unit and set up Suzuki’s first wholly owned car plant in its biggest market. On the other hand, Toyota also has big plans for Daihatsu, as the world’s biggest automaker confirmed last week it would buy out the rest of the Daihatsu division as part of its strategy to strengthen its push into small cars for emerging markets.