Toyota will sell 25,000 Maruti Suzuki Baleno hatchbacks

by Dennis James

Toyota’s alliance with the nation’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki will see the Japanese carmaker start selling 25,000 rebadged Balenos in India starting in 2019.

The Toyota-Maruti Alliance will see the two carmakers share the best-selling models from each other’s model line-ups in India. These shared models include the Baleno, along with the Maruti Vitara Brezza compact SUV and the Toyota Corolla sedan. This rebadging exercise will see both Toyota and Maruti save a whole heap of money that usually goes into developing new models.

The rebadged cars are expected to feature slightly reworked styling to match the design language of each brand, which should mean tweaked front and rear ends and wheels. Other changes could include redesigned interiors featuring the respective infotainment units of either brand.

The Toyota-badged Baleno will be the first car from this alliance to make it onto the roads which will be followed by Maruti’s take on the Corolla and the Toyota-styled Vitara Brezza. The arrival of the Toyota Baleno could see Toyota drop the Etios Liva from its line-up.

Maruti will use the alliance to re-enter the D Segment for the first time since the Kizashi, which didn’t live up to the expectations of the Indian carmaker. To ensure the smooth sailing of this process, Suzuki will be committing to invest $1 billion (Rs 68.7 billion) into Toyota’s Bidadi manufacturing facility near Bangalore. Toyota’s Bidadi plant can currently build 1.5 lakh vehicles every year.

More reports also suggest that Toyota could also make use of Maruti Suzuki’s new 1.5-litre petrol engine that will arrive in the new Ciaz in a mild hybrid guise. Considering that this engine is expected to make its way into the Brezza, among other cars, means that this is a real possibility as well.

The partnership between Maruti and Toyota is beneficial to both car makers. Maruti will finally be able to enter the D segment with a tried and tested car while Toyota can enter the highly competitive compact SUV and premium hatchback segments with vehicles that are well known to the general public. Maruti is expected to sell its version of the Corolla from its premium Nexa showrooms.

Source – Livemint