Toyota India will be looking at volume segments in India with a little bit of help from India’s #1 brand by volume Maruti Suzuki. Reports are emerging that a deal is being brokered between Toyota and Suzuki Motor Corporation wherein the latter is likely to supply as many as 25,000 Baleno hatchbacks each year to Toyota Motor Corp.
Toyota will sell its cosmetically-tweaked version of the Baleno through its own dealership network from the first quarter of 2019.
Suzuki makes the Baleno in Gujarat India and the model meets global standards as it is sold in export markets including Japan. For the Indian market, mechanically it will remain unchanged, but will get Toyota specific design cues to its exteriors and interiors.
Since its launch in 2015, the Baleno has an average monthly sale of 15,000 units in India.
Incidentally, media reports emanating from India also suggest that Suzuki will be investing upwards of US$ 1 billion in adding facilities at Toyota’s manufacturing unit in the southern state of Karnataka. This could be for its version of Toyota platforms as well as towards a future collaboration on electric car platforms for India.
The sourcing of the Baleno follows a business agreement between Toyota and Suzuki in March this year for the two Japanese companies to sell each other’s vehicles in India. As per plans, Suzuki will also supply its compact sport-utility vehicle Vitara Brezza to Toyota. In return, Suzuki would source Toyota’s Corolla sedan and sell it through Maruti’s dealer network.