The global partnership between Toyota and Suzuki has already reaped several rebadged models from the two Japanese carmakers. In India, it has given birth to the likes of the Toyota Urban Cruiser and the Toyota Glanza, which are essentially rebadged version of the Maruti Vitara Brezza and Maruti Baleno respectively. The next model to come out of this partnership in India will be a rebadged version of the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz. However, that is likely to put the future of the Toyota Yaris in jeopardy.
Much like we have seen with the Baleno/Glanza and Vitara Brezza/Urban Cruiser rebadging, the Toyota-badged Ciaz will simply be a minor design revision over it's donor car. It will be absolutely identical to the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz under its skin and even in terms of the features and equipment that would be on offer. A new spy image of a Maruti Ciaz grille with a Toyota badge suggests at an imminent launch in the coming months. It remains to be seen to what extent Toyota differentiates their upcoming sedan from the Ciaz in terms of styling.
Going by this spy image, the grille looks almost identical to that of the Ciaz, except for the Toyota badge. Now this does raise the question if the Toyota sedan will have it's own unique styling to differentiate it from the Ciaz, like the Urban Cruiser does from the Brezza. We have previously seen Toyota being unimaginative with the rebadged Glanza and a repetition of this exercise will be quite disappointing. Even a redesigned bumper at either end and new alloy wheels should largely help the case of the Toyota sedan.
Incidentally, Toyota already has the Yaris competing in the same compact-sedan segment as Maruti Suzuki Ciaz. It is highly unlikely that Toyota will have two sedans in the same space, which inevitably hints at the Yaris being pulled off the shelves. The Yaris anyway has been the least selling model in its segment and feels lackluster and dated when compared to some newer offerings in the segment. With the discontinuation of the Yaris, Toyota will even save on the manufacturing costs of the sedan. Meanwhile, the rebadged-Ciaz will be manufactured by Maruti Suzuki at their own plant.
Following this, Toyota also has a rebadged version of the Ertiga MPV in the pipeline for a launch sometime in 2022. Apart from rebadged models, the Japanese duo also have plans to develop an all-new compact SUV to take on the likes of the Hyundai Creta and the Kia Seltos. This will be the first instance of a completely new product being born out of the partnership. Currently, neither carmakers have an offering in the compact SUV segment. Given how rapidly this segment is growing, it would be interesting to see how this space develops with new offerings from Maruti Suzuki and Toyota.
[Image Source - Teambhp]