BOMBAY -- The Indian unit of Japan's Toyota Motor Corp. plans to boost production capacity by a third to 60,000 cars by the next fiscal year, company officials said on Thursday.
Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt. Ltd., which makes the hugely popular Qualis utility vehicle and the globally best-selling Corolla sedan in India, could clock up far higher sales depending on productivity, they said on the sidelines of a news conference.
Toyota's plant near the Indian technology hub of Bangalore in the south has a capacity to produce 45,000 cars, but the Indian arm said earlier this year it expected to sell 48,200 cars in 2004. Toyota also imports Camry sedans for sale in India.
A relatively late entrant to the Indian car market, Toyota has a market share of about 5 percent.
Toyota may consider setting up a research and development centre in India, though there were no plans right now, Toyota Kirloskar Managing Director Atsushi Toyoshima told reporters.
The Indian government announced big tax breaks for new research and development centres in its budget earlier this month, leading to speculation that multinationals would move quickly to take advantage of the policy.
Toyota, which entered the Indian car market in 2000 with the Qualis, began operations last month at its new gearbox manufacturing plant in India -- its fourth worldwide, which will supply components globally.
"The motivation for the transmission project was that we needed to streamline key component manufacturing," Toyoshima said. "It doesn't make sense to have small volumes here and small volumes there. So we consolidated our volumes."
The opening of the gearbox plant in Bangalore is part of Toyota's global outsourcing plans, in which it will target certain countries as sources for specific components, which will then be used to make cars sold around the world.