Ever thought of Japanese auto rivals Suzuki Motor Corporation and Toyota Motor Corporation coming together for re-badging engineering? Or imagined Toyota selling Maruti Suzuki Baleno and Vitara Brezza and vice versa? Well, the wildest imaginations of auto enthusiasts could be turning true. Soon, Maruti Suzuki cars will be bought from Toyota dealerships in India and Toyota cars from Maruti Suzuki.
Toyota and Suzuki, the parent companies of India's carmakers Maruti Suzuki and Toyota, have concluded a basic agreement aimed at a mutual supply of hybrid and other vehicles between the two companies for the Indian market. While the agreement was earlier thought to be made for the development of hybrid and electric cars, it seems the duo is not planning to limit it to just that. On March 29, Toyota and Suzuki announced that the companies would be supplying certain vehicle models to each other to be sold through their own sales network.
Specifically, Suzuki will supply Baleno and Vitara Brezza vehicle models to Toyota, while Toyota will supply Corolla to Suzuki. Details on each model, such as the schedule of the start of supply, number of supplied units, vehicle specifications, and supply pricing, will be considered at a later stage. The vehicles will be sold by respective subsidiaries of Toyota and Suzuki based in India through their sales networks. By challenging and competing with each other with the goal of mutual improvement, Toyota and Suzuki aim to rejuvenate the Indian automotive market to further enhance their respective products and services to be offered to customers.
What does it mean for Toyota and Suzuki?
Since February 6, 2017, when Toyota and Suzuki concluded a memorandum toward business partnership, the two companies have been exploring concrete projects for collaboration in areas including environmental technology, safety technology, information technology, and the mutual supply of products and components.
In November 2017, the announcement of a memorandum of understanding between Toyota and Suzuki to consider a cooperative structure for introducing battery electric vehicles in the Indian market in around 2020 was one outcome of the joint exploration into the partnership. The latest announcement is another outcome and underscores the progress Toyota and Suzuki have together made, and it aims to bolster both companies' product lineups and encourage competition in the Indian automotive market.
With the latest agreement, both the companies could be looking at expanding their reach in different segments, where their models are not popular. By using Maruti Suzuki's extensive sales network in India, Toyota's lesser-known models could reach a wider audience and vice versa.