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Thu, Aug 23, 2007 - Page 10 News List

Toyota eyes small-car market in India

BLOOMBERG AND AP , NEW DELHI AND BEIJING

Toyota Motor Corp, Japan's biggest carmaker, may bring out a small car in India in two years as it tries to take market share in Asia's fourth-largest economy from Suzuki Motor Corp.

Toyota, poised to become the world's largest automaker, may make the small car in India and subsequently in other emerging markets, chairman Fujio Cho told reporters in New Delhi yesterday.

The company plans to raise its annual capacity in India 10-fold to 600,000 vehicles a year by 2015, it said last month.

Toyota may also build a new factory in India next to its existing unit near the southern city of Bangalore, Cho said. The automaker would join Honda Motor Co and Nissan Motor Co in adding capacity in India to challenge Suzuki's Maruti Udyog Ltd, which has a 50 percent market share in the country.

Toyota aims for 15 percent of India's passenger vehicle market by 2015. It had a 3.7 percent share as of March 31.

Separately, China's Chery Automobile (奇瑞汽車) said yesterday it had produced its 1 millionth car, becoming the first Chinese automaker to reach that mark.

Chery, China's biggest automaker, said in a statement that it took about six years to make its first 500,000 cars, and only a further 18 months to reach the 1 million mark. The millionth car was an A3, a four-door hatchback that made its debut at last year's Beijing auto show.

Chery, based in the eastern city of Wuhu, signed a deal earlier this year with Chrysler Group to make cars for export to the US and other markets. It has also signed a deal with the Fiat Group to produce Fiat and Alfa Romeo models for sale in China.

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