Toyota Kirloskar Motor Deputy MD N Raja has confirmed the launch timeline for the first Toyota-badged Maruti Suzuki product - the Baleno. The company plans to introduce its version of the hatchback in H2 2019.
Speaking to Autocar India yesterday, Raja said: “One thing we're working on now is one of the products from the alliance – the Baleno.” “Towards the second half of this year, we should be seeing it made available to our dealers for sale,” he added.
The Toyota-badged version will have a differently designed fascia and alloy wheels, but no sheet metal changes. Inside, one can expect a different cars scheme and upholstery, but tweaks to the design are unlikely. The idea is to differentiate the rebadged product without making any major investments in development and affecting the manufacturing cost.
The Maruti Baleno comes with a K12M 1.2-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine a D13A 1.3-litre turbocharged diesel engine. Toyota’s reluctance in offering diesel engines in its cars indicates we are not to expect the latter in its version. This engine has no life beyond early 2020. However, the Toyota-badged Baleno is likely to have some form of hybridisation sooner or later.
In an interview with The Economic Times recently, Masakazu Yoshimura, MD, Toyota Kirloskar Motor said: “We don't try to keep hybrid solutions within Toyota. So, we say, please use the system; our partners (Suzuki) can use our technology. We will try to translate it into the B-segment hybrids soon.”
In addition to sharing vehicles, TKM and Maruti Suzuki are considering sharing service centres and manufacturing and sales practices. After the Baleno, TKM will launch its version of the Vitara Brezza. Maruti Suzuki, on the other hand, will sell a rebadged previous generation Corolla.
[Source 1: autocarindia.com]
[Source 2: auto.economictimes.indiatimes.com]