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Toyota and Maruti Suzuki entered a partnership a couple of years ago and since then have introduced two 'rebadged' models in the Indian market. However, reports now suggest that the Toyota-Maruti Suzuki partnership could now be looking at jointly developing a brand new model for the mid-size SUV segment.
Note: Images used are for representational purposes only.
According to Autocar India, Maruti Suzuki has informed in a regulatory filing, about a certain change in production plans with Toyota, post-2022. While the plan initially was for Toyota to manufacture the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza at their Bidadi (Karnataka) facility, this has now been changed to a different model, which reports suggest could be a rival to the Hyundai Creta.
Toyota currently has two plants in Bidadi, Karnataka; one manufacturing the Innova Crysta & Fortuner and the second responsible for the Yaris and Camry Hybrid offering. As per reports, the second plant of Toyota will be used to manufacture the new mid-size SUV model and be given to Maruti Suzuki to manage.
The joint development between the two Japanese brands will give rise to a mid-size SUV for each of the brands. Both mid-size SUVs will carry forward the same underpinnings and use Toyota's DGNA architecture. However, the design and styling will be different on the mid-size offerings, in-line with their respective brand's design language.
The new mid-size offerings are said to come powered by Maruti Suzuki's trusted 1.5-litre K-series petrol engine. Reports do suggest that a turbo-petrol version of the engine could also be in the pipeline in the future.
The joint development of the mid-size SUV segment between Maruti Suzuki and Toyota will also help both brands bring down the economical & production costs. This should help both brand's price their respective models competitively to take on the Hyundai Creta and the Kia Seltos. The new product will also help fill the gap in both Maruti's and Toyota's product lineup in the Indian market.
Thoughts On The Toyota-Maruti Suzuki Mid-Size SUV Development
The new mid-size SUV will be the first proper jointly-developed model from the Toyota-Maruti Suzuki partnership in India. While the two have introduced two models, both of them are just rebadged versions of an existing model.