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Toyota Motors are considering the launch of their Hiace & Alphard MPVs for the Indian market. Both high-end MPVs from Toyota are expected to be launched in the country sometime over the next 12 to 18 months.
According to ET Auto, Toyota plans to make use of the change in regulations regarding imported vehicles in the country. The launch of the two high-end MPVs in the market is part of Toyota's bigger plans to benefit from the updated import regulations to bring their latest technologies to India. Their plans also include the introduction of more products such as hybrids and plug-in hybrids.
N Raja, Deputy MD, Toyota Kirloskar Motors, said that the new norms do open up a number of opportunities for the Japanese carmaker to introduce latest technologies and other high-end products in the country. Raja also mentioned that the brand is exploring several models for the Indian market, however, did not mention any specific vehicle.
The Indian transport government updated the import norms in the country last September. According to the new import norms, automobile brands will soon be able to import any vehicle irrespective of their engine capacity or pricing.
Previously, brands could import only those vehicles, with pricing above $40,000 or more. Also, import vehicles needed to have engine displacements over 3.0-litres for petrol and 2.5-litres for diesel models. Only after clearing the above regulations, could vehicles be imported into the country without homologation.
Talking about the relaxation of the import norms, N Raja, stated, "it will promote local manufacturing in support of the 'Make in India' initiative. It will also promote India's technology agnostic advancements towards establishing a sustainable and eco-friendly future mobility and address the issues of pollution, import bills and safety."
Toyota had plans to introduce the Hiace MPV in the Indian market, back in 2018. However, due to several external factors such as fluctuations in currency and changing regulations, Toyota held back the launch.
Thoughts On The Toyota Hiace & Alphard MPV In India
If Toyota introduces the Hiace and Alphard MPV in the country, they will be offered as premium high-end MPVs in the country. Toyota currently sells the Innova Crysta MPV, which is the segment leader in the Indian market, due to its extreme popularity. The Toyota Innova Crysta rivals the likes of the Maruti Ertiga MPV and the upcoming Kia Carnival MPV.