RC Bhargava, the chairman of Maruti Suzuki has just made an interesting statement that says Toyota won’t ‘tweak’ the Baleno and the Vitara Brezza – two cars that Maruti will soon start supplying Toyota from next year. Now, what does Mr. Bhargava mean by Toyota not tweaking the cars? Will Toyota simply sell the Maruti Baleno and Vitara Brezza as is? We explain.
Mr. Bhargava said this,
I do not think we have said that we will ever tweak the cars because I am not sure what tweaking the cars actually means.
This statement was a response to a question posed by the ETAuto, which asked the Maruti chairman whether Toyota would tweak the Baleno and Vitara Brezza. Mr. Bhargava makes it clear that he does not understand what ‘tweaking’ exactly is. It could be that he’s assuming that the reporter is asking whether Toyota would make significant engineering changes to both Maruti cars, to which he says no. So, Mr. Bhargava’s reply is more of not revealing what Toyota would do to the Baleno and Brezza rather than actually saying that these cars would be sold without badge-engineering or restyling.
What could actually happen when both cars are badged as Toyotas?
Toyota is expected to restyle both the Maruti Baleno and the Vitara Brezza. The restyling could be similar to what Nissan has done to the Renault Duster, turning the compact SUV into the Terrano. Similarly, both the Baleno and Brezza are expected to have different designs but the overall profiles of both cars are likely to be the same.
Mechanically, both cars are likely to be the same as well given the fact that the whole point of badge engineering is to keep costs low. Developing new mechanicals for these cars would cost Toyota too much, and clearly defeat the whole purpose of borrowing these cars from Maruti Suzuki.