Toyota Motor Corp. and Suzuki Motor Corp. have decided to enter into a partnership in which they will be selling each others’ cars in the Indian automobile market. Suzuki is expected to supply its top-selling models such as Baleno and Vitara Brezza to Toyota. Likewise, Suzuki will receive Toyota’s bestseller sedan Corolla and market it through the Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. dealerships across the country.
The auto manufacturers, in a joint statement, said that the details of the models that will be sold by the partnership, the schedule for start of supply, vehicle specifications, units already supplied, and supply pricing will be communicated later on. The companies also added that they are in an agreement to supply hybrid cars and other types of vehicles for the Indian market.
The first announcement on the partnership came from the two companies on 6th February 2017. The companies had also announced a research and development alliance last year, and the latest developments are based on that.
The partnership between the largest auto manufacturer in the world, Toyota, and a dominant force in the Indian automobile scene, Suzuki, shows the possibility of the local passenger vehicle market tripling to 9.4 million units by 2026.
The companies are not yet calling this partnership a “cross-badging” of products. The chairman of Maruti Suzuki, R.C. Bhargava, mentioned that the Baleno and the Vitara Brezza would undergo external modifications so that these cars would not resemble the ones sold independently by Toyota. The Corolla sedan would also be tweaked along the same lines. Bhargava said that the functionality of the vehicles would, however, remain the same.
The cross-badging strategy has not been very successful in the Indian automobile space in the past. The Renault-Nissan partnership and the Volkswagen-Skoda alliance failed to produce models that lived up to customer expectations, as indicated by the sales figures.