Toyota Vios
Toyota ViosPR handout

Toyota Kirloskar Motor, Indian subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corp, is reportedly planning to launch a new sedan between entry-level sedan Toyota Etios and Corolla Altis. The new sedan will compete against Honda City, Maruti Suzuki Ciaz and Hyundai Verna in the C-segment.

"Our priority is to keep our customers with us. We have given feedback to our parent company. They have identified the gap between Etios and Corolla Altis, which is huge. They are working on bridging this gap," N Raja, senior vice president, sales division, Toyota Kirloskar Motor told Financial Express. "It will be a global platform not just for India but for the entire Asia Pacific markets," he added.

Toyota entered the Indian market in 1998 with the launch of Qualis. The company focussed on the MPV and SUV portfolio until 2010 when the company launched its first made in India entry-level sedan Toyota Etios. Six years down the line, Etios is not a prominent player after the entry of many newcomers. Hence, Toyota is yet to make a mark in the affordable sedan segment in the country.

The C-segment is the domain of Honda City, Hyundai Verna and Maruti Suzuki Ciaz. Honda Cars India sold 77,548 units of City in FY 2016, while Maruti Suzuki sold 21,775 units of the Ciaz.

There were also reports that say Toyota will launch the Vios to fill the gap between Etios and Corolla Altis. It was then reported that the next generation of the Vios sedan is being developed by Toyota Motor Asia Pacific in Thailand, with Indian specifications in mind. The launch of Vios in India was rumoured in 2018.

Meanwhile, TKM is also expected to launch face-lifted version of the Etios sedan soon. The car has been spied wearing camouflaged front and rear bumper.