BANGALORE -- The Indian unit of Japan's Toyota Motor Corp. said on Wednesday it expects a 23 percent rise in sales this year, and saw no effect yet on demand from a shortfall in annual monsoon rains.
Company officials told a news conference to launch a new variant of the imported Camry sedan that total car sales were targeted at 48,200, up from 39,000 in 2003, powered by its utility vehicle, the Qualis.
"We have not experienced the monsoon effect. The market for Qualis is very buoyant," said K.K. Swamy, deputy managing director of Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt Ltd, a joint venture between Toyota and India's Kirloskar group.
India's consumer demand is often linked to the annual monsoon rains that last from June to September. A bad monsoon can adversely affect commodity prices and lower disposable incomes.
Indian weather officials said this week they estimated monsoon rains to be 13 percent below a long-period average, considered the benchmark for a normal monsoon.
Swamy said Toyota expects 35,000 Qualis vehicles to be sold in 2004, up from 30,000 last year, while the Corolla sedan would see sales of 12,000, up from 8,000. The company expects to sell 1,200 units of the Camry luxury sedan, up from 1,000, he said.
Toyota entered the Indian market in 2000 with the Qualis model which has helped it gain a 5 percent share in the overall passenger car market. The model competes with utility vehicles made by Mahindra & Mahindra and Tata Motors.