Maruti Suzuki and Toyota have joined hands in India. The Indian small car specialist will get help from the world’s largest car maker with electric vehicle technology. Returning the favour, Maruti Suzuki will produce electric cars for Toyota in India. Toyota is expected to sell these cars through its showrooms.
Maruti will also produce electric cars that it will brand and sell through its own dealerships. Maruti and Toyota will also jointly set up charging stations, train service personnel for handling the electric cars, and will ensure safe disposal of used batteries. Both the companies have concluded a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the same.
This is an indication that Toyota will push resources into electric cars and not just remain in hybrids, the area in which it’s a world leader presently. In India, Toyota has a much smaller marketshare compared to Maruti. It is not a major player in the sub-10 lakh rupee budget segments. With the tie up with Maruti for electric cars, Toyota may finally be able to make a big impact on India’s budget car market.
Maruti’s parent company Suzuki has already partnered with Toyota-owned parts maker Denso to set up a lithium ion battery manufacturing plant in Gujarat. Maruti is expected to produce electric cars from its Sanand factory in Gujarat. This is a new manufacturing facility that Maruti recently introduced. The Sanand factory produces cars for both domestic and export markets.
Ford is in a similar alliance with Mahindra, in which Ford is said to supply a car platform to Mahindra. Mahindra is expected to electrify the platform, and manufacture the cars in India. These cars (electric variants of the Figo and Aspire) are expected be sold under Ford and Mahindra badges. More such tie-ups may happen in future as the Indian government wants all vehicles sold here to run on battery power by 2030.