While the tie-up between Maruti Suzuki and Japenese car making giant Toyota has been known since the two companies announced their allegiance in 2017. At the time both companies announced that they will be working together in terms of sharing technology and sharing of vehicle platforms. As time passed it was revealed that the companies would share the Maruti Suzuki Baleno, the Vitara Brezza Compact SUV and the Toyota Corolla Platforms with each launching a rebadged, slightly re-engineered version of each other's vehicles. A recent report on PTI suggests that the first car from the alliance will be launched with a Toyota brand in the second half of the 2019-2020 financial year. and it will be their rebadged version of the Maruti Suzuki Baleno. This would mean we could expect the new car between December 2019 and January 2020. Naturally, the Toyota based hatch will not only carry a new name but will have its own set of unique tweaks that it will set it apart from its Maruti Suzuki half-sibling.
The report on PTI quotes sources close to the developments in Toyota as saying "In the second half of next fiscal, Toyota will launch its version of Baleno. There will be external tweaks for a different look but it will be more like the existing one." Although there is no official communication from Toyota Kirloskar Motor about the launch times as of yet.
For Toyota, the collaboration between the two companies will not only help them add more products to their portfolio in India but do so in a cost-effective manner. Concurrently allowing them to position those products more competitively in the mass-market. With vendors already present for the Baleno, this will also increase the percentage of localised parts, which will also contribute to a lower floor price of the premium hatch. However, at this time there is no clarity on the expected price of Toyota’s Baleno based hatch-back. Early speculation would point toward, 6 lakh to 9 lakh price bracket for the hatch.
Through this partnership, Toyota and Maruti Suzuki will also be looking into the development of battery-powered electric cars, although the two companies have announced this expanded focus of the deal, no further details have been provided.
With Inputs from PTI