To expanding its volume potential, Toyota could introduce a taxi variant of the Yaris sedan during the course of this year
Toyota Kirloskar Motor introduced the Yaris two years ago but it has not endured telling success in the domestic market. With BSVI emission standards into effect from the beginning of this month, the Japanese manufacturer had no choice but to discontinue the Etios range as it could not be updated to meet the required norms. The Corolla Altis was also shelved leaving Toyota with just two models in the volume space.
The Glanza debuted midway through last year and it is doing a handy work for Toyota in garnering volumes while the Yaris sedan has largely been underwhelming in sales. The termination of the Etios has led to a huge void Toyota as the B-segment was preferred by fleet operators in majority and the gap could be filled by a commercial version of the Yaris.
In the coming months, Toyota will be launching a taxi-spec Yaris that could help in improving its volume as well as addressing the cab aggregators who are seeking a Toyota sedan. In a live Instagram session, Naveen Soni, Senior Vice President, Sales and Customer Service, Toyota Kirloskar Motor told “Maybe make it more attractive for the taxi customer; because while the Etios is not there, we have the Yaris to offer for that customer”.
He also mentioned it to be a “..specced-down Yaris” meaning that a base variant could be in the pipeline. Currently, the Yaris is retailed with a single petrol engine as the 1.5-litre Dual VVT-i unit develops 107 horsepower AT 6,000 rpm and 140 Nm of peak torque delivered at 4,200 rpm. It is paired with either a six-speed manual transmission as standard or a seven-speed CVT automatic as an option.
The former has claimed mileage of 17.1 kmpl while the CVT is more frugal at 17.8 kmpl. The Yaris is sold in J, G, V and VX variants and only the entry-level variant with speed limiter and other necessary features catering to the fleet market could come factory installed in the Taxi version. Moreover, the equipment list may also be bare minimum to keep the pricing competitive.
Only the manual transmission is more suited for fleet-based buyers while a CNG version cannot be ruled out either. The disadvantages due to the lack of diesel version could be even out by the BSVI switch for the private buyers and attractive finance schemes could be offered to lure in new customers.
*Pics For the reference only