Other than working closely with Suzuki Motor Corp on developing low-cost electric car technology, Toyota is also contemplating launching rebadged CNG cars from Maruti Suzuki
By now, it has become widely known that Suzuki Motor Corp and Toyota Motor Corporation have joined hands to mutually benefit each other on Indian as well as global scale. While Toyota will be seen passing on its knowledge of hybrid powertrain to Suzuki, the latter will, in return, will supply some of its vehicles for retail by the former. The Toyota Glanza, which is a rebadged Maruti Baleno, is the first example of this.
Other than this, Maruti Suzuki will even help Toyota Kirloskar Motor with identifying of low-cost suppliers, which is something that will surely help the Japanese auto giant price its cars competitively in the market. Toyota is even said to be contemplating rebadged versions of other model like the Ertiga, Vitara Brezza and Ciaz.
Shigeki Terashi, Executive Vice-President, Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) has said that India is one of the countries in which is company plans to sell BEVs (Battery Electric Vehicles). He also said that the small electric car being co-developed with Suzuki is in eraly stages. The upcoming model will use the same body shell as the India-spec Wagon R and will likely cost roughly Rs 10 lakh.
Not just all this, Toyota and Suzuki will be even seen sharing CNG models in the Indian market. Maruti Suzuki has already announced that it will focus on expanding its CNG portfolio in the BSVI era. Toyota could choose to sell some of these models under its own umbrella.
With the discontinuation of the small capacity diesel engine, which has been largely due to the dwindling demand in the lower segments, Maruti Suzuki will be seen offering CNG variants of many models across its portfolio. While Toyota already sells some CNG models in the international markets, in India, it could simply play safe by testing waters through re-branded versions of Maruti Suzuki models.
At this stage, not many details are available on this. However, we won’t be surprised if the Toyota-badged Maruti Ertiga becomes the first car in Toyota Kirloskar Motor’s product portfolio to offer a CNG option. For reference, the Ertiga is already being sold with a factory-fitted CNG option based on the 1.5-litre K-series petrol engine.
*Pics for reference only