- The Toyota-Suzuki alliance was announced last year.
- There will be a customer-centric difference in the buying experience of the Toyota-badged vehicles.
Last year, Toyota and Suzuki announced an alliance for mutual sharing of technology and models in India. This alliance will bear its first fruit later this year. On the sidelines of their driving school inauguration in Mumbai, Toyota has confirmed that the first shared product – which will be the rebadged Baleno – will go on sale in the second half of 2019.
The alliance’s objective is to create a win-win situation for both the companies. As per the agreement, Suzuki will supply the Baleno and Vitara Brezza models to Toyota, while Toyota will supply the Corolla to Suzuki. But the model-sharing will extend beyond badge-engineering, confirmed the carmaker. The Baleno received a mid-life update a few days ago with fresh design changes and added equipment. So we can expect further cosmetic tweaks to the hatchback under the Toyota brand which could include a redesigned fascia along with a new name. However, under the skin, the Toyota-badged Baleno will remain indistinguishable to the one sold at the premium Nexa outlet. The gearbox and powertrain will be carried forward, but we can expect a hybrid variant of the Toyota-badged Baleno as well. But that will surely come at a later date.
The Toyota-badged versions are expected to make use of a different customer-centric experience as well apart from the cosmetic tweaks tha will be made when it arrives in India later this year. This is because making exhaustive changes to the product will increase its cost and Toyota might not want the pricing to come at a large premium over the Maruti product. Instead, Toyota would rely on their current customer base and differ in the buying experience on the rebadged products.
More details on the new Toyota-badged Maruti Suzuki products will be revealed in the months to come. So stay tuned to CarWale.