Auto giants Maruti Suzuki and Toyota Kirloskar have decided to join hands and share their product portfolio for cross-badging in the Indian market. By 2019, we can expect a Toyota tweaked Maruti Baleno and Maruti’s iteration of Corolla.
After signing a MoU last year, these two manufacturers will mutually benefit by sharing resources and platforms. Suzuki will be supplying its Baleno and Vitara models to Toyota, while Toyota will supply Corollas to Suzuki which will be sold by their independent dealer networks under respective brand names.
Maruti Suzuki chairman RC Bhargava said,” Fundamentally, the agreement has been forged for exchange of vehicles between the two companies. The deal will enable Toyota to strengthen its presence in India’s intensely competitive small-car market, where it has limited presence with the Etios series. It will also help Maruti Suzuki expand its product range to the executive sedan segment with the Corolla Altis. At present, Maruti Suzuki does not have any product priced above Rs 12 lakh”.
Shekar Vishwanathan, vice-chairman, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, said, “This agreement will end up providing more choices to Indian consumers, hopefully at lower price points through better utilisation of available capacities. This would help drive up volumes. The effort will also be to increase localisation content in models covered in the agreement, this would in turn give a fillip to the domestic component industry”
As we all know, Maruti is the leading carmaker in the Indian market and has been associated with brands like Fiat for engine sourcing. In fact, the most sold engine by Maruti in India- the 1.3-litre Multijet DDiS diesel engine is made by Fiat which currently powers the Maruti Swift, Baleno, Ciaz, Ignis, Brezza and the Ertiga. With this tie-up with Toyota, Maruti’s gain in the future out of this should be the adaptation of Hybrid and EV technology that Toyota has been excelling at. Also, with the emission norms getting stronger, it is no news that Hybrid and Electric vehicles is the way forward and this tie-up clearly will help Maruti with the same.