Toyota-Suzuki cross supply partnership announced; Maruti Corolla Altis India launch expected in 2019.

2018 Toyota Corolla Altis Review Test Drive
This recent development in Toyota-Suzuki partnership is in line with the GoI’s ‘Make In India’ initiative

When it comes to cars, Indian buyers swear by Japanese products for their bullet-proof reliability and amazing robustness. What happens when two of the leading Japanese players decide to join hands and share a couple of car models to be launched under their respective brand names? Simply put, the answer is a beneficial situation for all, be it the car companies, automotive industry or the end-users. On similar lines, Toyota and Suzuki have entered into an agreement wherein both parties will cross supply hybrid and fossil fuel-powered car models to be rebadged and launched in India.

While Toyota gets to work on the Baleno and Vitara Brezza, Maruti Suzuki gets access to the Corolla Altis. What this means is that we can expect to see the Maruti Corolla Altis in India by end-2019! The manufacturers will not merely slap their badge on to the aforementioned vehicles. Instead, it is expected that the models will get superficial design changes in the form of new bumpers, headlamps, tail lamps, grill as well as revised alloy wheels. Maruti’s version of the Corolla Altis will be sold through its own outlets, though it is not yet confirmed whether it will take the NEXA route or not.

This decision comes as a development to the Toyota-Suzuki partnership announced in February 2017. Last November, the duo signed an MoU to focus on introducing EVs in India by the end of this decade. This time, the companies look forward to supply one’s products to be rebadged and sold by the other (similar to Renault-Nissan partnership for the Duster and Terrano). Intricate details about the supply schedule, units to be shared, vehicle specifications and pricing are yet to be formulated.

Priced from Rs. 15.79 lakhs to Rs. 19.73 lakhs (ex-showroom, Mumbai), Toyota Corolla Altis is powered by 1.8-litre petrol and 1.4-litre diesel engines. While the petrol motor comes with a choice of a 6-speed manual or a CVT automatic gearbox, the fuel-burner unit makes do without the latter. Maruti’s last product in this segment was the Kizashi that was a big flop. However, considering the brand’s improved perception in the market with their NEXA outlets, the rebadged Corolla Altis could turn out to be the perfect product to turn the tables around.

Maruti Corolla Altis

– Toyota-Suzuki partnership to focus on cross supply of existing products
– Maruti to launch rebadged version of Corolla Altis in 2019
– To be sold through Maruti’s dealer network
– In a similar manner, Baleno and Vitara Brezza to be offered by Toyota

2017 Toyota Corolla Altis Interior
Both the companies are laying great emphasis on local sourcing of components