Toyota is prepping to launch its Maruti Baleno version in India in the second half of fiscal year 2019-20. As Maruti continues to enjoy top spot for a range of vehicles across segments, Toyota is developing its own features and tweaks for its Baleno version.
In March 2018, both companies agreed upon supplying hybrid and other vehicles to each other. This will see Suzuki supply the Baleno and Brezza compact SUV to Toyota, and Toyota supply the Corolla Hybrid to Maruti Suzuki.
The process is an all too familiar one. Instead of spending on R&D to develop a similar product, companies tend to work together for mutual benefit through parts sourcing and platform sharing. With the part of the agreement decided upon honoured, companies are then free to work on a vehicle to personalise it in tune with brand needs.
With India being a price conscious and growing market, there’s no limitation on the success one can meet by tapping into consumer needs. However, Toyota’s product range in India isn’t exactly low cost.
Maruti Suzuki on the other hand is able to target price consciousness owing to its sheer business volume, which helps the company reach economies of scale. Toyota would explore opportunities of localising components to capitalise on cost effectiveness. Maruti Suzuki Baleno variants retail at a price range of Rs 5.42 lakh – Rs 8.53 lakh.
Most recently, Toyata and Suzuki have agreed in expanding the scope of their collaboration and discuss new joint projects. TKM will in time manufacture vehicles developed by Suzuki for sale in India through both brand networks. Discussions are also ongoing regarding cooperation in exports, This includes vehicles developed by Suzuki, including those produced by TKM through their global sales networks.
Both companies signed an initial MoU in February 2017, and have been exploring business projects across multiple domains since then. A MoU signed in November 2017 explores a cooperative structure regarding EVs to be introduced in India.