Toyota Kirloskar Motor Ltd (TKML) is all set to launch what is probably its best-loved car globally, the Corolla, in the domestic market in the first flush of the New Year, in mid-January.
The premium version of the car, the 1.8g, will be a fully loaded auto transmission car with features such as airbags for driver and passenger, six CD changer and leather upholstery while the 1.8e will be a mid-segment, manual transmission car with features that other cars in the segment sport. TKML will also launch a stripped-down version of the car, the 1.8j, which will be a manual transmission car intended to cater to the highly price-conscious buyer in the mid-size car market. Prices will range from Rs 13 lakh for the premium product to just above Rs 9 lakh for the stripped-down car.
According to sources, the company is planning a high-profile celebrity launch of the car in the capital in mid-January followed by launches in Mumbai and Bangalore in the first week of February. The car will be nationally rolled out in the same month.
TKML would import an initial lot of approximately 2,000 units of the Corolla from its Thailand facilities in CKD form to fulfil the early demand in the market. Plans are being firmed up to commence manufacturing at its Bidadi plant by March 2003. The Toyota Corolla has occupied top slot for a record 34 years in Japan and is a top grosser in the discerning US and West Asian markets. In India, sources said, the company would position the car as one of the safest available across segments and as a value for money proposition.