Do you know which are Toyota’s most popular models in India? It’s the Innova and Fortuner. Do you known which is Toyota’s oldest models in India (the ones which haven’t been thoroughly updated since launch). It’s again the Innova and Fortuner. The Innova which is sold in India is the first generation model dating back to 2003, it hasn’t got any meaningful changes in the past 11 years! The Fortuner was first launched in Thailand in 2005 and hasn’t got any major update in the past 9 years. Toyota continues to sell these cars as there is demand and little competition.
However Toyota is now facing intense heat from rivals as the Innova and Fortuner have dated significantly. The Fortuner is such a old car that its brakes are quite bad and Toyota can’t even give it rear disc brakes because it’s not designed to accommodate them. The Fortuner also lags behind in the dynamics department and it’s just the Toyota badge and butch looks which is making it sell in India. The Innova’s reliability and space have made it a massive success and the lack of competition has helped Toyota sell the same car with zilch mechanical changes for like eternity.
The next generation of the Innova and Fortuner are under development and will hit market next year. The second generation of these Hilux based vehicles will be underpinned by an all new platform called Toyota New Global Architecture which is a modular platform just like Volkswagen’s MQB. With the use of the TNGA, Toyota will be able to share parts extensively among cars which are underpinned by this flexible platform. The cost savings will not be passed onto customers but will help Toyota boost profits. Expect the new Fortuner and Innova to be vastly improved over the current models.