Domestic market-leader Maruti Suzuki and automotive giant Toyota joined hands last year. Toyota and Maruti decided to offer rebadged engineered vehicles in the Indian market that will help both the brands to enter newer segments quickly. While Toyota will sell rebadged Maruti Baleno and Vitara Brezza in the Indian market, Maruti Suzuki will enter the D-Segment sedan with the rebadged Toyota Corolla Altis.
A new development has revealed that Maruti Suzuki will utilise the Toyota production facility to produce cars. With Maruti’s plants running at full capacity, Toyota’s underutilised plants will ease the pressure. Only around 30% of Toyota’s plant in Karnataka is utilised to produce cars. The rest of the capacity can be used to produce Maruti cars that will be sold through the sales channels of both the manufacturers in India. Currently, Toyota’s production line is used for manufacturing Etios, Liva, Yaris, Corolla Altis and Camry Hybrid.
Image courtesy IAB
The plant has an annual production capacity of manufacturing 2.1 lakh cars. This will bring down the waiting period on Suzuki vehicles considerably and will also help Toyota enter the sub 4-meter compact SUV segment and premium hatchback segment.
Speaking about the development, Toyota President Akio Toyoda said,
Suzuki was the first (among Japanese companies) to enter India, and, together with the people of India, has been a presence for pulling forward India’s automotive society. Such represents the spirit of “Let’s do it” that I mentioned when announcing the conclusion of our memorandum of understanding on beginning concrete examinations for business partnership. Or, as I like to say, Suzuki is a company that puts into practice being “The Best in Town.”
The announcement did not say when the production of the Suzuki cars will start at the Toyota plant. Both the manufacturers also announced that Suzuki will develop a new ‘ultra-high-efficiency’ powertrain with the technological support from Toyota and Denso Corporation. The new engine will be an all-new product and will be available in both petrol and hybrid set-up.
The new cars made at the Toyota facility will also reach Africa and other markets around the world. These vehicles will be sold by Toyota and Suzuki’s respective outlets that will enable the manufacturer to target global markets.