Toyota Brezza

Toyota Brezza will be company’s first product in the compact SUV segment….

Looks like it is a season of collaborations in the Indian automotive industry. After Ford and Mahindra, it’s now the turn of two Japanese giants – Toyota and Suzuki. Building upon their memorandum of business partnership concluded in February last year, both the companies today announced product sharing partnership for the Indian market.

In a press release today, Toyota and Suzuki said that they have concluded a basic agreement toward the mutual supply of hybrid and other vehicles for the Indian market.

  • Suzuki will supply the Baleno and Vitara Brezza models to Toyota
  • While Toyota will supply the Corolla model to Suzuki
Toyota’s Baleno will be differentiated with a different grille and some other cosmetic changes

The release cleared that further details like the schedule of the start of supply, number of supplied units, vehicle specifications, and supply pricing, will be considered (and announced) at a later stage. What this means is that these cars will be badge-engineered and sold by the other party – with minor nip & tuck jobs like differentiated front grilles, headlamps etc.

The release mentioned the two companies have been exploring concrete projects for collaboration in areas including environmental technology, safety technology, information technology, and the mutual supply of products and components since they concluded a memorandum toward business partnership in Feb, 2017. They had also announced a memorandum of understanding in November 2017 to consider a cooperative structure for introducing battery electric vehicles in the Indian market in around 2020. Today’s announcement is another outcome and underscores the progress the two companies have together made, and it aims to bolster both companies’ product lineups and encourage competition in the Indian automotive market.

Will Maruti Suzuki be able to make a mark in this premium segment with its Corolla?

This is an interesting development as it will give Toyota an opportunity to venture into the very hotly contested compact SUV market without having to invest much time and effort in getting a model from their own lineup (which could have proved to be costly anyway). Rebadged Toyota Baleno will also have better prospects of sale than the Etios range which has not been able to do well.

On the other hand, Maruti Suzuki, with the rebadged Corolla, will get a premium sedan – a segment where they have never been able to do well.

This development will definitely cause some ripples in the market as this coming together of two already very strong players with their fast selling products will take the competition a notch up in some very interesting product segments. Launch, as we believe, will be next year!

So, will you buy Toyota Brezza and better – will people accept Maruti Suzuki Corolla?




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