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Toyota Qualis set for blazing debut at Rs 459,000

Jan 12, 2000

Toyota's Qualis, a multi-utility vehicle (MUV) is set to hit the road at an attractive price of Rs 459,000 (ex-showroom Delhi). The US$ 170 m Toyota Kirloskar Motor Ltd. is a joint venture between Toyota of Japan. Toyota holds 88.9% equity stake in this venture, while the balance is with the Kirloskars.

According to a news report appearing in a business daily, the Qualis will be available in six versions beginning at an entry price of Rs 459,000 extending to Rs 740,000.

The Qualis is targeted at the MUV segment and is a direct threat to the Mahindra Armada (Rs 429,000) and the Tata Sumo (Rs 521,000). However, unlike other MUVs, the Qualis is being targeted at the mid-sized car segment. To that extent, it is a direct threat to the likes of Maruti Esteem, Hyundai Accent, Ford Ikon, Fiat Sienna, all of which are priced above the Qualis. Add to it, its station wagon looks and comfy interiors, it is a steal at that price. However, sources reveal that the current price will be hiked in the near future.

An MUV positioned in the car segment is an emerging trend in India, although it is commonplace in markets like the US. The Indian car market is getting more and more crowded with at least one launch every month. Now car manufacturers will also have to contend with international MUV brands like Toyota on their turf. Toyota will test the waters with the Qualis and if it can grab market share from the established car manufacturers, the MUV industry could witness a slew of launches targeted at the passenger car segment.

One things for sure, Mahindra & Mahindra and TELCO will be watching the Qualis closely, and if it does well, we may have more MUVs from these manufacturers with station wagon looks and a price to match.

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