Toyota, a multinational automotive manufacturer and Indian automobile manufacturer Maruti Suzuki will reportedly be coming together for the first time in a cross-badging deal where Toyota will be selling Maruti Suzuki’s Baleno (a premium hatchback) under its own name.
For the uninitiated, vehicle cross-badging is an old industry practice, in 2003 a now defunct MG Rover Group made a deal with Indian automaker Tata to sell its Indica model as City Rover in the UK. Other companies have also attempted to sell cross-badged products through cross-badging alliances like the Renault-Nissan deal and the Volkswagen-Skoda deal.
A source aware of the matter stated that both companies have already chosen Baleno to be the first cross-badged model. The source further stated that the changes that are to be made to the vehicle have been approved and both the companies have finalized the number of cars to be supplied.
Reports suggest that Maruti Suzuki will be supplying 25,000 Baleno units to Toyota annually, which will be sold by Toyota through its own dealership network. Some minor changes such as changing the head-lights, tail-lights & front grille will be performed on the vehicle before being delivered to Toyota. Toyota is expected to start the sale of these units by the first quarter of 2019, reports state.
IHS Markit Associate Director, Puneet Gupta stated that Baleno is a popular automotive in the Indian markets, Toyota chose this model knowingly, as the company has little or no presence in the smaller fuel-efficient gasoline engine cars segment.
According to Moneycontrol, Maruti Suzuki will enter the Electric Vehicle market in 2020 by launching its electric car, for which the model is developed in jointly by Toyota Motor Corporation & Suzuki Motor Corporation. This partnership was announced back in 2017.
As per the cross-badging deal, Toyota will be providing its sedan class car model ‘Corolla’ to Maruti Suzuki in return, to be sold through its network of dealers under its brand name.
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