Toyota will reportedly supply 10,000 units of the Corolla to Maruti Suzuki with petrol and hybrid powertrain options
Toyota Kirloskar Motor sells the Corolla Altis in India in six different variants and it rivals Hyundai Elantra and Skoda Octavia. Its average monthly sales is around 300 units and with Chevrolet Cruze and Volkswagen Jetta no more, the D-segment segment is down to a three-way battle. Toyota and Suzuki are indulged in a global partnership with future sales aspirations and India is a key emerging market both companies are focussing at.
The Japanese giants are taking advantage of each other’s strengths and planning to roll out significant number of products developed jointly. The deal was penned initially last year and it appears that India is at the core of proceedings going forward. Maruti Suzuki will reportedly supply 30,000-50,000 units of the Baleno and Vitara Brezza to Toyota.
As both the models lead the sales chart in their respective segments, Toyota will make modifications to the successful formula and facilitate necessary changes to badge them on its own. The report comes as a game-changer especially for Toyota which holds around 4 percent market share in the domestic scenes. Amidst enabling Toyota to enter into two popular segments, the partnership will result in Toyota utilising its production facility to a major extent.
The reason being Corolla Altis, as 10,000 units of the D-segment sedan will be supplied to Maruti Suzuki. The speculation sounds a whole lot interesting as both petrol and hybrid powertrains will be delivered to the largest automaker in the country. Currently, the Corolla Altis uses 1.8-litre petrol and 1.4-litre diesel engine options. The gasoline mill pumps out 138 bhp and 173 Nm torque while the four-cylinder diesel makes 87 bhp and 205 Nm.
Maruti Suzuki had an underwhelming success between 2011 and 2014 when the Kizashi was retailed in India. The prospect of a new D-segment sedan arises now as Toyota will be sharing the Corolla Altis. Coincidentally, reports suggest that a fully-blown hybrid version of the S-Cross has been delayed and it could be due to the hybrid powertrain tech Toyota is said to supply for Maruti Suzuki?
However, the more logical thought would be the high tax levied on hybrids through GST implementation hampering Maruti Suzuki’s development immediately. Flushing the rumour, going by the latest premium trend the brand has adopted, a Kizashi successor slotting above the Ciaz can be expected. With underpinnings likely remaining the same on the three shared models, Maruti Suzuki could employ a 98 bhp 1.8-litre VVT-I petrol engine mated to a 71 bhp electric motor.
The combined power output is in the vicinity of 127 bhp which is almost on par with the regular petrol variant of Corolla Altis. The transmission options could be the electronically controlled continuously variable transmission and in the regular petrol variant, a six-speed manual or a seven-speed CVT could be offered. With no sheet metal changes expected, Maruti Suzuki may bring in its own design philosophy into the mix.
The D-segment sedan could be shipped to emerging markets like Brazil as well. It could sit as the flagship model and sold through Nexa premium dealerships. With no official confirmation from both companies, we would have to wait and see how this new strategy pans out. Would you like the implications of this collaboration? Have your say below!