Toyota Kirloskar Motor has the Innova Crysta and Fortuner as its best-selling models in India and the brand built its domestic success over the last two decades based on them. While the Japanese manufacturer could not penetrate much into the sub-10 lakh segments, the positive image among loyal buyers has resulted in customer retention on an impressive standard. The global automotive giant has partnered with Suzuki as both the parties have embarked on a strategic alliance with Indian and international markets in mind.
Toyota will supply its hybrid vehicle systems and associated technologies to Suzuki while in turn, the latter will participate in the realms of development, manufacturing and car sharing. Using the production prowess of MSIL (Maruti Suzuki India Limited) Toyota will rebadge some of the models including Ertiga, Ciaz and Vitara Brezza. The first rebadged vehicle based on the Baleno premium hatchback, dubbed the Toyota Glanza, is already up on sale.
The RAV4 and Corolla Wagon platform based EVs will be supplied to Suzuki for sale in Europe as well. The latest generation Innova Crysta is a more premium offering compared to its predecessor and there will be two more MPVs slotting below it in the coming years. One is the rebadged Maruti Suzuki Ertiga and we hope Toyota would add a little taste of distinction instead of just replacing the badges to make it relevant in the market. If Glanza is anything to go by, the Toyota MPV will be powered by the 1.5-litre SHVS petrol engine making 104.7 PS and 138 Nm with a five-speed manual and a four-speed torque converter automatic transmission option.
We suspect it to be closely matched against its donor in terms of pricing as only a select few variants could be offered with packed features. Another and the most interesting of all the announcements made is the Toyota C-SUV that will be co-developed with Suzuki. It will more likely be positioned below the Innova Crysta and perhaps just above the rebadged Ertiga in the price range between Rs. 10 lakh and Rs. 15 lakh (ex-showroom).
As has been the case with premium MPVs, it is expected to be offered in seven- and eight-seat configurations and will likely be powered by BSVI compliant petrol and diesel engine options with manual and automatic transmission choices. Expect Toyota to offer a range of driver assistive and safety features with the upcoming C-MPV. Its pricing will hold the key for its success as it should be subjected to high localisation.