It’s Toyota-Suzuki versus the rest in Indian SUV market

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NEW DELHI: The Japanese might of Toyota-Suzuki is set to challenge the dominance of tough rivals Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, and Hyundai-Kia in the Indian SUV market. The two giants will develop and produce a new premium hybrid SUV – that will take on models such as Hyundai’s Creta, Kia’s Seltos and Mahindra’s Scorpio – which would be manufactured at Toyota’s Bangalore factory from August and sold under the respective badging of both companies.
While Toyota will sell the SUV, likely to be priced around and upwards of Rs 10 lakh mark, under its brand, the Suzuki variant will be sold under the Maruti badging.
TOI had first reported on the joint premium SUV plan in its editions dated October 18 last year, where details about Toyota-Suzuki’s electric/hybrid partnership were also spelt out.
Announcing the new plans, the Japanese majors said in a joint statement, “… the two companies will now start production of a new SUV model developed by Suzuki at Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) from August. Maruti and TKM will market the new model in India as Suzuki and Toyota models, respectively. Furthermore, the two companies are planning to export the new model to markets outside India, including 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 MPV market with Innova, though both lack mass appeal due to high pricing. The new model is expected to give them high volumes, and a strong say in the mainstream SUV business.
Toyota Global President Akio Toyoda said that the partnership will ride on the strength of both the brands, as they develop solutions around electrification and carbon neutrality. “We are pleased to announce the new SUV with Suzuki, a company that has a long history of local involvement in the Indian business… By leveraging the respective strengths of Toyota and Suzuki to provide Indian customers with a variety of options, we hope to contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions and realize a society where ‘no-one is left behind’ and ‘everyone can move freely.’”
Suzuki President Toshihiro Suzuki said the production of the SUV at Toyota India plant is a project that can contribute to the growth of India by providing eco-friendly mobility. “We recognize that it is a big milestone toward further deepening our collaboration in the future. We appreciate the support from Toyota, and at the same time, will explore new synergy and business opportunities through continuous collaboration.”
The powertrains of the new model would be equipped with mild hybrid developed by Suzuki and strong hybrid developed by Toyota. “By bringing together 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 and contribute to the acceleration of electrification and the realization of a carbon neutral society in India.”
The companies said they remain committed to expansion of their collaboration as well as to the “Make in India” initiative as they move towards sustainable and zero-emission goals, as as enumerated by the Indian government.
The partnership between the two companies stems from a memorandum of understanding that they signed on in 2017. Since then, the companies have been bringing together Toyota’s strength in electrification technologies and Suzuki’s strength in compact vehicles for joint collaboration in production of electrified vehicles.



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