NEW DELHI, India: A senior company executive has told Reuters that Toyota is planning to make India a manufacturing hub for electric vehicle (EV) parts, to meet both local Japanese demand and for exports to Japan and other Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries.
According to Vikram Gulati, executive vice president at Toyota Kirloskar Motor, the company plans to initially manufacture e-drives or electric powertrain parts used by different electric vehicle types, including battery EVs, plug-in hybrids and other hybrid models.
"The aspiration is to make India the manufacturing hub for cleaner technologies. This is about creating the building blocks," he told Reuters.
The company also announced recently that it will invest $621 million in India, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government is offering companies billions of dollars in incentives to build EVs and their parts in India, as well as to achieve its 2050 carbon-neutrality goals, and localize the supply chain for EVs.
This week, Toyota said most of its investment in India will be made by Toyota's local unit, Toyota Kirloskar Motor and Toyota Kirloskar Auto Parts, a joint venture of Toyota Motor Corp, Aisin Seiki Co, and Kirloskar Systems.
In December, the world's largest carmaker said it plans to invest $70 billion to electrify its automobiles by 2030, including developing battery EVs, in order to remain competitive with global automakers, who are investing billions of dollars in the shift to cleaner vehicles.
However, in India, Toyota is more focused on launching its hybrid models first, which, according to the company, are better suited to the country's aim of reducing dependence on fossil fuels and carbon emissions.
Building out the supply chain early will help Toyota become competitive, in terms of volume and price in India, Gulati said, adding that Toyota expects this to enable a "faster and smoother" shift for the Indian auto industry to EV technology.