The Maruti Suzuki Toyota joint venture is already well known. Its also well known that there will be many new models developed jointly under the partnership by both the brands. There are now reports that Maruti Suzuki and Toyota will together be developing a new mid-size SUV to take on the likes of the Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos. Slated for a launch in 2022, this mid-size SUV will be manufactured at Toyota's plant in Bidadi, Karnataka.
The news actually surfaced when Maruti Suzuki informed the stock exchange in a regulatory filing about the revision in its plans regarding the manufacturing of the Vitara Brezza at Toyota's Bidadi plant from 2022 onwards. The two companies had earlier agreed to shift the production of the Brezza at Toyota Kirloskar Motor’s (TKM) facility from 2022 onwards. It has however now been revised to accommodate the production of another vehicle, which is being speculated will be the upcoming rival to the Creta and Seltos from Maruti Suzuki and Toyota. The Brezza, along with the Urban Cruiser, is currently manufactured at Maruti Suzuki's plant in Gurgaon, Haryana and that is likely to remain unchanged.
The upcoming Maruti Suzuki Toyota mid-size SUV will be the first vehicle that will be jointly developed by the two companies for India. As of yet, we have only seen instances of badge engineering from the two brands. It will be manufactured at Toyota Bidadi's Plant 2, which will be given to Maruti to manage. Toyota's Bidadi facility actually consists of two plants - one that manufactures the Innova Crysta and the Fortuner and the other that currently manufactures the Yaris and the Camry Hybrid. The upcomig mid-size SUVs will be underpinned by Toyota's DNGA platform that has been specifically designed for emerging markets.
The Maruti Suzuki Toyota SUVs will be about 4.3 meters long and while they will be underpinned by the same platform, they will boast of completely different exterior and interior styling , much like the Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos. Under the hood, Suzuki's 1.5L petrol engine could be the mainstay for both the SUVs and there could be a more powerful turbo-petrol engine some more time in the future as well. There will however be no diesel engine under the hood of either SUVs. These mid-size SUVs should help Toyota bridge the gap between the Urban Cruiser and Fortuner, and as for Maruti Suzuki, they will be stepping up to a whole new segment, thus expanding their lineup.
The mid-size SUV segment still remains one of the most lucrative segments in the Indian market right now. It is with the Creta and the Seltos that the Hyundai-Kia duo have managed to dominate the SUV market share in India, which currently stands at about 50%. Joint development of the SUVs will also give Maruti Suzuki and Toyota the economies of scale, something that has greatly contributed the success of Hyundai and Kia. After almost saturating the sub-compact SUV space, it will now be mid-size SUV segment that will be the focus of most manufacturers in India.
[Source : Autocar India]