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In a major move India’s largest automaker Maruti Suzuki India Limited will stop making its best-selling sub-4-meter SUV Vitara Brezza from 2022. This would not mean that the subcompact SUV will go out of production, rather the company plans on sourcing the Vitara Brezza from Toyota. This move comes a part of the partnership that the two companies entered into in 2017. Reports suggest that the partnership has been extended to joint manufacturing of cars. Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza grosses around 10,000 every month and tops those sales charts where models such as the Ford EcoSport, Tata Nexon and newly launched Mahindra XUV300 are present.
The two Japanese manufacturers are strengthening their ties in India and in the prices, Toyota will make and supply the Vitara Brezza to Maruti Suzuki. Apart from this, under the same deal, Toyota receive the Brezza for badge engineering at its own end. Toyota’s badge-engineered Vitara Brezza may come with major changes to looks and interiors to separate it from the original Maruti model. Before Toyota starts making the Vitara Brezza for Maruti Suzuki, the sub-4-meter compact SUV is supposed to go through an update process where the current model will be replaced by a new generation model. The two Japanese companies are looking at major cost cutting with this move as they expand their line-up in India, thereby adding to the profits from sales. This was the second model that the two manufacturers will share among themselves, the first model to be shared under the MoU signed by Toyota and Suzuki was the premium hatchback Baleno. Toyota’s badge-engineered version of Baleno is expected to be launched in the market by the end of 2019.
The aforementioned MoU between the two companies saw an extension last week with the two companies now agreeing to also share models such as Ertiga MPV and Ciaz sedan. The new partnership of the two Japanese heavyweights will include joint manufacture, engine sharing between two brands, promoting electric vehicles, and major technology exchange etc.
Toyota’s President Akio Toyoda talked about the partnership with Suzuki and said,
“We believe that the expansion of our business partnership with Suzuki—from the mutual supply of vehicles and powertrains to the domains of development and production—will help give us the competitive edge we will need to survive this once-in-a-century period of profound transformation. We intend to strengthen the competitiveness of both our companies by applying our strong points and learning from each other."
Under the new partnership, the market will witness Toyota launch badge-engineered version of Baleno. Maruti Suzuki too will launch the badge-engineered Corolla Altis. However, the Maruti Suzuki branded Corolla Altis will arrive only next year.