With the likes of Tata Motors already selling the ultra-cheap Nano, along with Nissan announcing that Datsun will return to provide ultra-cheap cars to developing markets and Volkswagen intending to follow suit, Toyota president, Akio Toyoda, decided Toyota’s own announcement was in order.
Toyota chose to take the high road, in the terms of price that is, by announcing that it has no plans to produce ultra-cheap models for developing markets, such as India, Indonesia, Russia, and China. Toyoda basically let everyone know that Toyota Motor Co. is more about reliability and quality than overall sales. Plus, the risk damaging its recovering reputation by releasing these super-cheap cars in an attempt to be the No. 1 car seller in the world is not worth its reward.
Currently, the least expensive vehicle that Toyota offers is the Etios (pictured above), which runs 400,000 Indian Rupees ($7,800). Despite appearing low to the average reader, this base price is significantly higher than most cars in India.
This means that Toyota buyers all over the world can look forward to only quality automobiles appearing in their local dealerships, even in developing countries. You can also bet that the issues Toyota has had in the past few years with quality are soon to be a distant memory. Keep in mind, though, the automotive industry changes at the drop of a hat, meaning Akio Toyoda may pull a complete 180 next year and announce Daihatsu, a company that Toyota Motor Co. owns 51% of, is releasing super-cheap cars in developing markets.
Only time will tell what Toyota will do to remain competitive with its German, Japanese and Indian rivals.