New Delhi: Japanese auto major Toyota plans to increase local content of Baleno and Vitara Brezza models which it will receive from compatriot Suzuki for selling in India under their partnership to make them price competitive, a senior company official has said.
The likely changes to be brought in the two models “are still under work-in-progress and how the final products gets rolled out will be known over the course of time,” said Toyota Kirloskar Motor Vice President Atsushi Oki.
He added: “Toyota will further boost their outlook on components localisation in support to ‘Make in India’ initiative, to achieve cost effectiveness,” he said when asked how costly the two models under Toyota badge would be when compared to what Maruti Suzuki is already selling in India.
“We understand the price sensitivity of Indian market. We will continue to keep up the price momentum in these directions. Further details are under discussion at this point in time.”
When asked by when TKM will start selling Vitara Brezza and Baleno in India, he said the details of each model such as the schedule of the start of supply will be considered at a later stage.
In March this year, in continuation of their partnership discussions that kicked off in 2017, Suzuki agreed to supply premium hatchback Baleno and compact SUV Vitara Brezza to Toyota, while Toyota will supply sedan Corolla to Suzuki.
The two companies agreed last week to expand the scope of their collaboration and discuss new joint projects in the fields of technological development, vehicle production, and market development.
Under the agreement, Toyota Kirloskar Motor would manufacture models developed by Suzuki for sale in India through their respective brand networks. Moreover, the two firms are looking at cooperation in exports of models developed by Suzuki, including those produced by Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) — the Indian arm of Toyota, from India to Africa and other markets through their global sales networks.
In February 2017, Toyota and Suzuki had concluded a memorandum towards business partnership and since then, they have been exploring concrete projects for collaboration in areas including environmental technology, safety technology, information technology, and the mutual supply of products and components.
Subsequently, in November 2017 the companies announced an MoU to consider a cooperative structure for introducing battery electric vehicles in India around 2020.
Oki said the alliance is an all new beginning of relationships, a platform for new learning for each
other and a new approach to leveraging strengths.
“From a long-term perspective, this partnership is the first step to explore more opportunities to collaborate in various areas including environmental technology, safety technology, information technology and mutual vehicle supply, to enhance market competitiveness and build an ever better mobility, to cater to the growing expectations of the changing markets by offering wider range of products and services for the benefit of the consumers at large,” he added.