Toyota Motor Corporation and Suzuki Motor Corporation, under their newfound partnership, are going to launch a battery-electric vehicle (BEV) in India very soon. Shigeki Terashi, Managing Director TMC (Toyota Motor Corporation) said that India is one of the markets in consideration for the introduction of a BEV. The two Japanese carmakers have announced a partnership in August this year wherein they will acquire a stake in each other and focus on joint development of products in addition to collaborating in terms of production.
Maruti Suzuki has already commenced testing 50 EV prototypes which are based on the Japanese-spec WagonR. Recently, spy shots, of what looked like a production-ready version of the same was also spotted testing on India roads. Though it is not confirmed, we expect that the compact electric vehicle is going to be based on the current generation WagonR.
Suzuki will supply Ciaz sedan and Ertiga multi-purpose vehicle to Toyota in India in addition to the already agreed supplies of premium hatchback Baleno and compact SUV Vitara Brezza, which will be rolled out from Toyota's plant in India from 2022. Moreover, Suzuki will also supply its India-produced vehicles -- Baleno, Vitara Brezza, Ciaz, Ertiga -- to Toyota for the African market as well.
Toyota, on the other hand, will provide Suzuki with its hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) technologies in India through local procurement of HEV systems, engines and batteries, while also supplying THS (Toyota Hybrid System) to Suzuki in global markets.
Commenting on the significance of the partnership with Suzuki in the EV journey, Terashi said while Toyota is large in Japan it has limited presence in India and on the other hand Maruti Suzuki has large presence in India.
He further said together with Suzuki Toyota is exploring opportunities and start with compact BEV in Indian market at "early stage".
The Toyota official, however, did not provide more details. Last year, Suzuki Motor Corporation Chairman Osamu Suzuki had said the company has decided to launch EV in India around 2020 in cooperation with Toyota Motor Corporation.