The company, which is planning to set up an area office in Guwahati to boost sales in the region, will target smaller towns and open two more outlets by the end 2013.
     
"The North Eastern market contributes 20 percent of the total East market size, therefore making it a significant region for TKM.
    
Right now we are focusing on expanding our dealer network in the North East with 9 dealer outlets by the end of 2013," Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) Deputy Managing Director and COO (Marketing and Commercial) Sandeep Singh said.
    
Out of that, Assam contributes the highest with an average of 81 percent of the total North East sales of TKM.
    
The company, which is a joint venture between Japanese auto giant Toyota and India's Kirloskar group, currently has 7 dealerships in North East at Guwahati, Nagaon, Dibrugarh and Silchar in Assam; Shillong in Meghalaya; Dimapur in Nagaland and Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh.
    
Talking about growth expectation from the market, TKM Senior Vice President (Sales and Marketing) N Raja said: "We expect the North East market to further grow when the overall market revives.
    
As of now, our focus is to expand our dealer network in the North East and we are expecting a significant contribution from this part of the region.
    
"At present, the company is in the process of establishing and stabilizing its network in the region, he added.
    
 "Our dealer expansion plans are based on the market potential... We will continue to expand our network and this thrust will largely be in smaller towns and cities," Raja said.
    
He said currently the entire North East market is being addressed out of the East Regional Office in Kolkata.
    
"We do intend to establish an Area Office in Guwahati but nothing has been finalized yet," Raja said.
     
Besides, TKM is establishing a Regional Parts Centre in Kolkata to cater to the East and North East region to reduce the lead time for service parts supply to dealership, he said.
    
Talking about the models that are driving the company's growth in the North East, Raja said Innova, Etios, Liva and Fortuner have seen very good response in the region.
    
"We have also seen a growing demand for premium vehicles like Camry and Land Cruiser. There is a clear preference for diesel over petrol variants in this region," he added.
    
TKM, however, has been witnessing its vehicle sales in the country going down in recent months. It had reported 20.99 percent decline in domestic sales at 11,515 units in July. During June also, sales fell 25.10 percent at 11,010 units.

(Agencies)

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