The two companies have agreed to share certain models in India. Maruti Suzuki will give its popular Baleno Hatchback and Vitara Brezza compact SUV to Toyota, while the Corolla Sedan will be handed over to Maruti for use in India. The models will debut in the second quarter of 2019.
In this case, the upcoming cars won’t just be badge-engineered versions of their donor cars but will sport significantly revised styling and have a distinct visual identity. The cars will share platforms, engines and gearboxes. They will also adopt a form of hybridization soon.
Baleno-based models will give Toyota presence in the hugely popular compact SUV and premium hatchback segments and for Maruti, the Corolla-based sedan will give it a premium offering that can be sold from its Nexa sales network.
Since February 2016, the companies have been looking at a partnership in India and, in November 2017, announced a Memorandum of Understanding to create a joint strategy to introduce battery electric vehicles in India from 2020.