Toyota car sales decline 15% in November

Bengaluru: The Japanese global car maker’s joint venture Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) on Saturday said it sold 11,390 units in November, as against 13,420 units in the same month in 2017, registering a 15 per cent decline annually.

“Of the 11,390 units sold in November, 10,721 were in the domestic market and 660 units of Etios series were exported,” said the city-based JV in a statement here.

Of the 13,420 units sold in November 2017, 12,734 units were in the domestic market and 686 units of Etios were exported.

“Fluctuating exchange rates, rising fuel costs and high interest rates have impacted the consumer sentiment in the auto industry. Demand has witnessed a downward trend over the festive period as compared to same period last year,” said TKM Deputy Managing Director N. Raja in the statement.

The 20-year-old company is maintaining a lean inventory at dealerships to avoid stock pileup as the festive season did not spur customer demand.

“With the new year around, we hope there will be a positive momentum in the buying sentiment ensuring growth in year-end sales,” added Raja.

Toyota is considering a price increase of up to four per cent across models from January 2019, owing to pressure of high manufacturing costs.

The JV on Friday announced that Masakazu Yoshimura would be its new Managing Director from January third week.

“Yoshimura will take over on January 22, 2019 as the Managing Director from incumbent Akito Tachibana, who is being repatriated to the parent firm,” said the JV in a statement.

The Indian JV’s board of directors will appoint Yoshimura at a meeting on January 22 at the Bidadi industrial area, about 40 km from the city centre.

The two-decades-old JV of Toyota Motor Corporation and the Pune-based Kirloskar Brothers Ltd, with the Japanese auto major holding 89 per cent of the equity, has two assembly plants with 3.1 lakh units combined installed production capacity per annum.

The JV rolls out a range of models, including Innova multi-utility vehicle, Camry sedan, Prius hybrid, Corolla Altis, Etios, Prado and Land Cruiser, with some of them imported as completely built units.