Taking its partnership with Toyota to the next step, Toyota will now launch a Maruti Baleno-based SUV that is expected to be sold with the Glanza nameplate
So far, the Toyota-Suzuki partnership has witnessed the introduction of cross-badged offerings like the Glanza and the Urban Cruiser. Soon, we’ll also see Toyota-badged Ertiga and Ciaz in the market. While this surely gives Toyota Kirloskar Motor a few bonus customers, it is yet to actually penetrate too deep into the lower segments of the car market. Soon, however, the carmaker will reportedly launch as many as 4 new products that will surely help it with a firmer foothold over the market. One of these four vehicles will be a sub-compact-SUV based on the Maruti Baleno that will be sold by both the partners.
Called the “Big Leap”, the new strategy will lead to the launch of an MPV (codename – 560B) that will be positioned against Kia Carens, a compact SUV (codename- D22) that will be positioned against Hyundai Creta, and highly updated versions of Glanza and Urban Cruiser. The latter two will be simply rebadged units of the upcoming updates for the Baleno and Vitara Brezza. The vehicle-sharing won’t end here as the two Japanese carmakers are even planning a sub-compact-SUV version of the Baleno that will take on the likes of Tata Punch and Nissan Magnite.
Internally codenamed ‘YTB’, this Maruti Baleno-based SUV will first launch as a product of the parent carmaker. The Toyota version will likely follow a few months down the line. While it will be based on the hot-selling hatchback, it will clearly look more robust and could even drop the Baleno moniker in a bid to carve out its own identity. Our sources have revealed that the upcoming update for the premium hatchback could bring in the K15 1.5-litre petrol engine to the top-end trim of the small car. It’s even expected to power the hatchback’s crossover/sub-compact-SUV sibling.
Speaking on the partnership between Toyota and Suzuki, Gaurav Vangaal, Associate Director, IHS Markit, said,“The alliance has provided much-needed strategy stability to Toyota in India. Sustained new launches in multiple segments and price point from the alliance shall help Toyota gain market share in the coming years. We expect a faster and leaner Toyota catering the market needs of Indian consumers for the next few years than ever before.”