Besides a Toyota C-segment MPV developed in collaboration with Suzuki, the rebadged Suzuki’s version could be based on the XL6
Despite being around for more than two decades in the domestic market, Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) could not make a strong impression in the entry-level mass-market segment whereas it did set the sales registers ringing in the premium space. The Innova and Fortuner have become household names for the Japanese brand with a high customer retention rate as they carried on the success of the Qualis.
Toyota did introduce the Yaris last year in the C-segment for sedans but it couldn’t achieve any sort of momentum as the long-serving Etios twins are enduring better sales. So, what’s next for Toyota in India? The global auto banks on its partnership with Suzuki for mutual benefits. Toyota will be supplying its hybrid vehicle systems and related technologies to Suzuki whereas its Japanese counterpart, in turn, will aid in production and sharing of vehicles.
The partnership carries importance for Indian, European and African markets as well. Several initiatives had already been announced including “widely spread hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) technologies” in India through local procurement of HEV systems, engines, and batteries. OEM supply of two compact vehicles built on Suzuki platforms (Ciaz and Ertiga) to Toyota in India.
Drawing upon Suzuki’s expertise in developing vehicles in India, joint development of a Toyota C-segment MPV and OEM supply to Suzuki. Production of the Suzuki-developed compact SUV Vitara Brezza at TKM from 2022. The second-generation Maruti Suzuki Ertiga launched late last year has gained tremendous attention from buyers.
The Toyota C-MPV in all probabilities will be positioned below the top-selling Innova Crysta. With Maruti Suzuki having recently introduced the XL6 based on Ertiga, we do expect the rebadged Toyota MPV that is also in the pipeline will be a derivate of the XL6 rather than the regular Ertiga. If it turns out to be the case, it will be more premium than the standard Ertiga while offering a second-row captain seating arrangement.
If the Toyota Glanza is taken into account, expect minor exterior changes to the upcoming MPV while the mechanicals could remain the same. It will more likely be powered by the 1.5-litre four-cylinder SHVS petrol engine with BSVI compliance delivering 104.7 PS and 138 Nm. It could be mated to either a five-speed manual or a four-speed torque converter automatic transmission.