Maruti Suzuki and Toyota have entered an alliance in India. One of the key facets of this tie-up between both brands includes badge engineering of each others’ popular cars. Under this partnership, Toyota will enter segments where it has no presence in with the help of Maruti by badge engineering the Baleno and Vitara Brezza.
Maruti, for its part, will badge engineer the all-new, 12thgeneration Toyota Corolla Altis and sell it through NEXA dealerships. Here’s what it could look like.
The Toyota Corolla-based D-Segment sedan bearing the Maruti Suzuki badge will be the most premium offering from the automaker. It will get revised styling at the front and the rear, making it quite distinct from the recently unveiled Toyota Corolla Altis, which will make its debut early next year in India. Maruti Suzuki’s version of the Toyota Corolla Altis is expected to be launched in India only in 2020 though.
The car is expected to be a full hybrid and could use the 1.5-litre K-Series petrol engine from the Ciaz as the petrol component of the hybrid, which the electric motor and other aggregates would be supplied by Toyota. There will be no diesel version of the car in view of tightening emission norms. Right from the outset, the all-new Toyota Corolla Altis and its Maruti badged sibling will meet Bharat Stage 6 emission norms.
The car will herald Maruti Suzuki’s re-entry into the D-Segment sedan space, a segment it last occupied with the Kizashi a few years ago. While the Kizashi was a completely built unit (CBU), the Corolla Alis wearing the Maruti Suzuki badge is expected to be built by Toyota at its Bidadi factory. The manufacturer is expected to happen under the completely knocked down (CKD) kit, which will allow it to be priced competitively.
Expect a starting price of around Rs. 15 lakhs for the Maruti Suzuki-badged Corolla Altis, which will rival the likes of the Skoda Octavia and the Hyundai Elantra. Diesel in this segment are on their way out, and in the coming years, expect petrol-hybrids to dominate this segment. The Maruti-badged Corolla Altis is expected to be one of the first such cars.