- Toyota Hiace and Alphard MPVs likely to be introduced in India over the next 12-18 months
- Awaiting changes in local certification and import policies
- Relaxation in import norms to decide on localization
Media reports indicate that Toyota is planning on introducing its globally popular MPVs, the Hiace and the Alphard, in India over the course of the next 12-18 months. The report further indicates that the MPVs will be introduced only if there is a change in local certification for imported vehicles which will benefit the Japanese car manufacturer. It is believed that the Hiace and the Alphard will be introduced alongside the hybrids and plug-in hybrids for the Indian market.
Back in September 2018, the Indian government eliminated the need for homologation for sale of up to 2,500 imported vehicles, provided they received certification in the country of manufacture. Prior to that, only vehicles costing over $40,000 and with an engine displacement of more than 3.0-litres for petrol and 2.5-litre for diesel were permitted to be imported without homologation. Owing to revision in norms, the company can now explore opportunities of importing high-end products in limited volumes.
The report further states that the company was planning on introducing the Hiace in India in 2018, but decided on delaying its launch due to currency fluctuation and changing safety regulations in terms of speed governors. N Raja, deputy MD of Toyota Kirloskar Motor, further highlighted that the high cost of technology import is a hurdle in developing models locally, as the cost challenges can be tackled only with high sales volumes. He further added that relaxation in norms will promote local manufacturing under the 'Make in India' initiative.