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The Maruti Baleno will be the first cross-badged product from the Suzuki-Toyota collaboration. Suzuki Motor Corp. will supply around 25,000 units of the Baleno hatchback, each year to Toyota. These vehicles will then undergo minor exterior and interior changes, before going on sale during the next fiscal year.
Livemint Sources stated, "The decision has already been taken by both the headquarters in Japan and the first vehicle to be launched will be the Baleno. The changes to be made have already been approved as well and both the companies have already decided on the number of vehicles to be supplied."
The supply of the Baleno hatchback to Toyota is part of their collaboration with Suzuki in India. The collaboration between the two Japanese companies took place in March, earlier this year. Suzuki is also expected to supply its utility-vehicle offering, the Vitara Brezza to Toyota in the future. In return, Toyota will supply their Corolla sedan, to sell in Maruti's dealerships as well.
The sales of the re-badged Baleno will help Toyota create a deeper impact in India's most-competitive hatchback segment. The company currently only offers sells the Etios Liva hatchback in the country.
The Baleno is currently manufactured in Suzuki's facility in Gujarat. Once the supply of the Baleno starts, Toyota will make use of the spare production capacity available in their Karnataka plant.
Being a well-accepted product in India, the re-badged Baleno is expected to help Toyota achieve volume sales, in a segment where they do not have a strong presence.
Thoughts On The Sale Of The Re-Badged Baleno from Toyota
Since the launch of the Baleno in 2015, the car has been one of the most popular premium hatchbacks in the Indian market. However, cross-badging as a concept in India has failed to achieve sales numbers in the past. It will be interesting to see how Toyota and Suzuki work together and sell the cross-badged Baleno in India.