Monday, 26 September 2011

Toyota enters Japan minicar market with Pixis Space

Toyota Motor Corp on Monday launched its first car in Japan's growing 660cc minivehicle segment in a move that is set to intensify competition in the shrinking domestic market.

Toyota was the only Japanese carmaker without 660cc minivehicles, leaving them to subsidiaryDaihatsu Motor Co, which along with Suzuki Motor Corp controls about two-thirds of that market.

Minivehicles, or ``kei,'' are defined under Japanese regulations as having maximum length of 3.4 meters (11.15 feet), width of 1.48 meters (4.86 feet), height of 2 meters (6.56 feet) and engine displacement of less than 660 cc. 

Toyota's new Pixis Space, a rebadged version of Daihatsu's boxy Move Conte, starts at 1.12 million yen ($14,700) with mileage of 25.5 km/litre, it said in a statement.

Toyota itself plans no TV commercials or advertisements for the minivehicles, a spokesman said. Of the 283 sales companies that sell Toyota cars, 211 have said they wanted to carry Toyota-badged minivehicles through 290 dealerships, he said. Toyota has about 4,800 dealerships in Japan.

Minicars are popular not only for the tax savings but also with people who use cars for short commutes or grocery shopping, as well as with those who don't see cars as status symbols as did the older generation


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