Following the cross-badging collaboration in India, Toyota and Maruti Suzuki are all set to take their relationship to next level. Deccan Herald report suggest that Maruti is getting ready to invest at Toyota Kirloskar Motor’s Bidadi plant near Bengaluru.
The quantum of investment is said to be in the tune of 1 billion USD (around Rs 7,000 crores). Part of the investment will go towards refurbishing the plant to suit Maruti’s production requirements. Being the largest car maker, and thereby also the fastest car maker in the country, Maruti knows how to build their cars efficiently.
Toyota’s Bidadi facility has an installed capacity of 3 lakh units per year of which only 50% is being utilized. Given that Maruti could always use additional production capacity, this is a win-win scenario for both Japanese manufacturers. Maruti officials reportedly visited Bidadi site to assess capability of further investment. In addition to refurbishing the plant, Maruti will also bring its entourage of suppliers to Karnataka’s Japanese Industrial Township located at Tumakuru. This will increase direct and indirect employment in the state.
Maruti Suzuki currently operates 3 production facilities in India (2 in Haryana, 1 in Gujarat) and the Bidadi plant would help the company have a better reach among South Indian customers. The automaker is reported to commence production of most of its models at Bidadi by 2022. The two models which Toyota will be selling under their badge are Vitara Brezza and Baleno. Both these cars will be produced at the Toyota plant.
Teams from Toyota and Maruti are working together on various aspects of cross-badging partnership which will see Toyota gaining access to Maruti’s best selling products like Baleno and Vitara Brezza, and Maruti taking advantage of its compatriot’s hybrid and electric vehicle technology besides gaining permission to sell the Corolla sedan with Maruti Suzuki badging. While there is no confirmation from either party, a co-engineered product is said to be in the works as well.
Despite being rivals in several segments of the Indian market, a close partnership to explore all possible synergies would help both the OEMs to achieve significant cost savings in the long run. Uniting resources will also help fend off rivals in a highly competitive market.