This may sound weird, but it’s true. A perfect case for academics of how market dynamics can encourage partnerships of a different kind. Toyota and Suzuki have entered into an agreement wherein both parties will swap hybrid and fossil fuel-powered models and rebadge them for sale in India.
Under the agreement, Toyota India will get access on the Baleno hatchback and Vitara Brezza CUV, while Maruti Suzuki gets access to the Corolla Altis.
Both brands will implement cosmetic and feature changes to ensure that they don’t end up as clones of the donor machine. Maruti Suzuki’s version of the Corolla Altis will be sold through its own outlets and there is a possibility it could also add to the NEXA premium brand route in future.
Toyota hasn’t said how it will reshape Suzuki products. Toyota’s newest product to hit the Indian market is the Yaris, which essentially is a reworked Mazda2. Mazda and Toyota have recently announced a joint venture for producing cars in Alabama, USA.
This decision comes as the next development to the Indian Toyota-Suzuki partnership announced in February 2017. Last November, the duo signed a new MoU to focus on introducing EVs in India by the end of this decade.