New Delhi: Suzuki Motor Corporation is likely to supply as many as 25,000 Maruti Suzuki Baleno premium hatchbacks each year to Toyota Motor Corporation. As the car gets set to become the first cross-badged product of the auto makers, said two people with direct knowledge of the matter.
Toyota will start hawking the Baleno through its own dealership network from the first quarter of next fiscal year, the people who didn’t want to be named said. To start with, Suzuki will supply 20,000 to 25,000 Baleno cars each year to Toyota’s local unit, the people said.
The vehicle, which is currently produced at Suzuki’s factory in Gujarat, will undergo some minor changes in its exteriors and interiors such as head lamps, tail lamps and front grill, they said. “The decision has already been taken by both the headquarters in Japan and the first vehicle to be launched will be Baleno,” said the first person cited above.
“The changes to be made have already been approved as well and both the companies have already decided on the number of vehicles to be supplied.”
Choosing Baleno makes sense for both the companies, especially Toyota, which would need a smaller gasoline engine car to meet new corporate average fuel efficiency norms. -Puneet Gupta, associate director at IHS Markit
To sell each other products in india
- The sourcing of the Baleno follows a pact between Toyota and Suzuki in March this year for the two Japanese companies to sell each other’s vehicles in India.
- For Toyota, the Baleno will give it a deeper presence in India’s high-volume but most-competitive hatchback segment. It will also be able to make use of spare capacity at its plant in Karnataka. Toyota makes the Etios Liva hatchback in India.
- Suzuki and Toyota will have a task on their hands as cross-badging as a concept in India hasn’t set the sales charts on fire.
- The Renault-Nissan Alliance, and Volkswagen and Skoda, tried a similar strategy with models such as Renault Duster and Nissan Terrano SUVs, and Volkswagen Vento and Skoda Rapid sedans among others.