He has been innovative, progressive and has been leading his company as a fearsome contender in the Indian car market. With degrees in politics and economics and over three decades' experience in sales, new model development, production, and product support, Hiroshi Nakagawa was the one to lead the international multi-purpose vehicle (IMV) project. The IMV project, taken up at Toyota in Thailand, sought to develop a single platform for different vehicles - MUV, SUV and pick-ups. Nakagawa also acted as the general manager at the Tsusumi plant of Toyota in Japan.

In India, Toyota is going ahead in leaps and bounds under his leadership. The Innova has been an unchallenged model in its segment so far. The next big thing to come from Toyota is a compact car, the Etios, which is expected to hit the Indian roads soon. Toyota Kirloskar now plan to sell up to 40 per cent of their products in the rural market. The company has set for itself a sales target of 70,000 units during the calendar year 2010-11, as against 55,000 in the preceding one. With Etios in its portfolio, the target for 2011 will be 1,50,000 units.

The company looks at completing its Rs. 3,200-crore Bidadi plant by the end of 2010 with plans for further expansion. By the end of this year, it aims to have a network of 150 dealers across India. The car-maker is also setting up a new engine plant for the Etios with an installed capacity of 100,000 units per annum at a cost of Rs.500 crore.

Nakagawa believes that the Indian car market will grow in the range of 10 per cent against the global growth rate of five per cent.