Two Japanese auto giants in the Indian market are all set to join hands to share some models and the first one is going to be Baleno. Currently, sold as Maruti Suzuki Baleno, the premium hatchback will now be rebadged and will be available as Toyota Baleno. The car is expected to hit the Indian market in the second half of 2019 and will be available at the Toyota’s dealership. The alliance between Suzuki and Toyota was formed in the year 2017 to promote electric vehicle technology.
N Raja, Deputy Managing Director at Toyota Kirloskar Motor said to Autocar India, “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’’.
“From Toyota's side, our focus is to differentiate the sales experience for the customers that we get. We would look at Toyota's strengths of sales. We have more than 1.5 million Toyota customers, we have to focus on how we approach them and offer them this product so that they remain in the Toyota family’’, added Raja.
As per the agreement, Suzuki will share its Baleno and Vitara Brezza models to Toyota while Toyota will share its Corolla to Suzuki.
This model sharing between Toyota and Suzuki will go beyond badge-engineering and the new Toyota’s version of Baleno is likely to come with few cosmetics changes on its front side, however, the new version Baleno will be identical to Maruti Suzuki model and will shares the same engines.
Currently, Maruti Suzuki Baleno holds the record of fastest five lakh units’ sale in the Indian market. Baleno is one of the highest selling car in the premium hatchback segment and competes directly with Hyundai Elite i20 and Honda Jazz.
Under the hood, Baleno come with 1.2-litre petrol engine which produces 89 bhp of power and 114 Nm of torque and 1.3-litre diesel engine which can produce 75 bhp of power and 190 Nm of torque.