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Maruti Suzuki to start producing a Toyota version of the Vitara Brezza

S. Muralidhar | Updated on May 14, 2020 Published on May 14, 2020

Maruti Suzuki’s expanding partnership with Toyota Kirloskar Motor for contract manufacturing and joint development of existing and new vehicles will soon see the addition of the Vitara Brezza. The company has sent out official communication to the stock exchanges that the extremely successful sub-compact sports utility vehicle from Maruti’s stable will be seen sporting the Toyota badge, possibly by the next quarter of this year.

If the experience of the Glanza (Toyota’s version of the Maruti Baleno) is anything to go by, there is a strong likelihood of the Vitara Brezza following a similar path, with near identical exterior styling and choice of interior trim. Extensive modifications to design may not pay back handsomely, especially if the model is an entirely new segment for the partner brand and one in which the other is the dominant player. Both these are true in this example, where Toyota has smartly chosen to pick out from Maruti’s portfolio the vehicles that will fill out the gaps in its own line-up.

Though badge-engineered vehicles haven’t performed well in the past, it is a tempting way by which companies can shorten the gestation to market, both for testing the waters with a new segment product and for dramatically increasing choice for its customers in double quick time. The perfect example of badge engineering that wasn’t successful was the Nissan Micra and Renault Pulse combination. The badge-engineered hatch, originally from Nissan, just couldn’t help Renault make a break into the segment and it didn’t quite deliver on the volumes front either.

The Japanese parent companies Toyota and Suzuki have entered into a collaboration agreement to work together long term for developing new vehicles and sharing platforms. Toyota is also expected to offer Suzuki its electric and hybrid technology. In turn, Suzuki is expected to help Toyota replicate its low cost vehicle manufacturing model. Under the partnership in India, in addition to a number of completely new cars, Maruti Suzuki had said that the Baleno, Ciaz, Vitara Brezza and the Ertiga will be offered to Toyota. In turn, Maruti is expected to get its own version of the Toyota Corolla; will be the family sedan that has been sorely missing in Maruti’s portfolio.

 

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Published on May 14, 2020
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