NEW DELHI: The combined might of the Japanese automakers Toyota and Suzuki is poised to threaten the hegemony of the Indian SUV market held by Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, and Hyundai-Kia, three formidable competitors. To compete with vehicles like Hyundai’s Creta, Kia’s Seltos, and Mahindra’s Scorpio, the two giants will design and create a new luxury hybrid SUV. Beginning in August, the vehicle will be produced at Toyota’s facility in Bangalore and marketed under the respective brand names of both firms.
While Toyota will be the one to market and sell the SUV under its own brand, the Suzuki variation will be marketed and sold under the Maruti name. The price of the Suzuki model is expected to be between between ten and twenty million rupees.
TOI had initially reported on the combined luxury SUV plan in its editions dated October 18 of the previous year. At the same time, specifics concerning Toyota and Suzuki’s agreement to develop electric and hybrid vehicles were also outlined in these issues.
The two Japanese giants released a joint statement in which they announced the new intentions. The statement said, “… the two firms will now commence production of a new SUV type designed by Suzuki at Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) from August.” The new vehicle will be marketed in India by Maruti and TKM under the names Suzuki models and Toyota models, respectively. In addition to this, the two businesses have plans to distribute the new model in countries other than India, namely in Africa.
While Maruti has been desperately feeling the absence of a premium SUV in its portfolio, which has seen the company lose precious market share to rivals, Toyota dominates the luxury SUV category with the Fortuner and the MPV market with the Innova, though both lack mass appeal due to their high pricing. Maruti has been desperately feeling the absence of a premium SUV in its portfolio. It is anticipated that the new model would provide them significant volumes as well as a strong voice in the industry of producing mainstream SUVs.
According to Toyota Global President Akio Toyoda, the alliance will ride on the power of both brands in order to develop solutions revolving around carbon neutrality and electrification. “We are thrilled to announce that Suzuki, a brand that has a long history of engagement in the Indian market on a local level, will be producing the new sport utility vehicle… We hope to contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions and realise a society where “no one is left behind” and “everyone can move freely” by combining the respective strengths of Toyota and Suzuki in order to provide customers in India with a variety of options. This will allow us to capitalise on the strengths of both companies.
Toshihiro Suzuki, President of Suzuki, stated that the manufacture of the SUV at the Toyota India factory is a project that has the potential to contribute to the growth of India by offering environmentally friendly transportation options. “We acknowledge that this is a significant step toward significantly enhancing the scope of our relationship in the years to come. We are grateful to Toyota for their assistance, and in the meanwhile, we will work together on an ongoing basis to investigate potential new areas of synergy and commercial opportunity.
Both a mild hybrid that was created by Suzuki and a powerful hybrid that was developed by Toyota will be used in the powertrains of the new vehicle. “By bringing together the strengths of both Toyota and Suzuki through the collaboration, the two companies will be able to provide a wide variety of vehicle electrification technologies to customers. In addition, the collaboration will contribute to the acceleration of electrification and the realisation of a carbon neutral society in India.”
As the firms work towards achieving the zero-emission and sustainable targets outlined by the Indian government, they have said that they are unwavering in their dedication to both the “Make in India” project and the extension of their current partnership.
A memorandum of agreement was formed between the two firms in 2017, which served as the basis for the relationship between those companies. Since that time, the two firms have been working together to produce electric vehicles through a joint effort, with Toyota contributing its expertise in electrification technologies and Suzuki contributing its expertise in the manufacturing of small automobiles.