DEPUTY MD, TOYOTA KIRLOSKAR MOTOR
Platforms are going to be global for all countries. If I look at India today, the challenge for us is that the government is moving towards the European standards, the customer expectation for the product pricing is still Asian. So, we are caught up in this dichotomy for probably another three-four years, but this will change and people will be ready to move towards the products which meet those norms.
EVs are taxed 12 per cent and hybrids are taxed 43 per cent which is not a viable equation for a customer to buy it. Today, the Camry Hybrid addresses a group of customers who don't look at `4-5 lakh as a big variation, they want to show the world that they are environmentally friendly, they are implementing new technology. But, the same feeling on the economically-priced models is still to come in, it's like giving a product at double the price and then there are no buyers for it. We are looking at some type of stabilisation.
We are starting off with the petrol on the Yaris, rightfully so, because we have seen the competition and we clearly see that petrol is a larger segment here. A diesel powertrain is not sufficient; it has to be with an automatic or a CVT. This is the mismatch on which work is happening. Till now, it's not clear as to what will be the future.
The big change was our (new) Corolla Altis. We have lot of positive feedback that has inspired our design team to work in that direction. We always had good vehicles with good work process, only the style used to be boring, we realised that, and hence a lot of changes happened.
Our research team really understands what the customers want. Apart from the work culture, the customer also wants an attractive looking car. They are ready to compromise a little bit on performance, as long as the car is looking attractive. That is coming into the DNA slowly.