Rebadging is not a new concept. The concept has been a part of the automobile industry for many decades. It is the concept in which two automobile companies agree to sell each other’s existing models as their own car. It is beneficial as it significantly reduces the cost of manufacturing(since they don’t have to design a whole new model) and is overall preferable because of the easiness that comes with it. India is quite familiar with this concept.
Renault and Nissan did it with their hatchbacks, Pulse and Micra and their compact SUV’s Duster and Terrano; Subaru and Chevrolet did it with the Forester and even India’s first diesel hatchback; the Tata Indica was rebadged as the Rover CityRover. Somehow rebadging has never been successful in India, but it all changed in 2019.
Two of the most successful car companies in India, Maruti Suzuki and Toyota have come together to break this spell and today we will be looking at the rebadged cars under the Toyota-Suzuki alliance; both present scenario as well as future plans.
Toyota Glanza and Suzuki Baleno
The Baleno was the first car to be rebadged by Toyota under their partnership. Except for the front grille, there is nothing that separates these brothers from different mothers. They both get a 1.2-litre petrol engine coupled with mild-hybrid technology producing 82 bhp(quite decent). It gets a 5-speed manual transmission. Even though both cars are identical, people still choose the Baleno over the Glanza; however, the Toyota hatchback also has decent sales figures.
Suzuki Vitara Brezza and Toyota Urban Cruiser
For a long time, Toyota teased us with their compact SUV, the Harrier. But when it all came down to business, they released the Urban Cruiser; which is the rebadged version of Suzuki’s Vitara Brezza. There is no difference between the two SUVs.They both get a 1.5-litre petrol engine producing 103 horses, coupled with a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed gearbox. Although you can choose either of them, Toyota offers a better warranty package to it is slightly better.
Toyota Ertiga and Suzuki Ertiga
The Japanese manufacturer has always been the king of the SUV and MPV segment with products like the Innova Crysta, Fortuner and their grandpa, Qualis. In order to further strengthen its position, Toyota will soon sell a rebadged version of the Suzuki Ertiga. Except for the name and maybe a different grille, everything will be the same. Currently, the Ertiga gets a 1.5-litre petrol engine producing 103 bhp(same as the Brezza). It is available in both manual and automatic transmission. The rebadged Ertiga is most likely to hit the markets in August.
Toyota Ciaz and Suzuki Ciaz
Although Toyota Kirloskar has dominated the SUV and MPV segment, they couldn’t taste the same success the same taste in the sedan segment. They made an attempt at it with the Yaris, but it failed miserably. So they recently announced that the Yaris will be discontinued and a new sedan, which will be basically a rebadged version of the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz will be unveiled. It will get the same engine as the Ertiga as the Brezza coupled along with their mild-hybrid technology. The gearbox will also be straight out of the Suzuki sedan. The Ciaz is the most anticipated car in the list of rebadged cars under the Toyota-Suzuki alliance.
These four models are just a start to something long term and beneficial. While Maruti Suzuki will help Toyota establish its dominance in the economy class of the automobile industry(after the flop-show of Etios, Yaris and Liva) with possible rebadged versions of the hot hatch Swift and the premium Ignis; Toyota will bless Suzuki with their world-renowned hybrid technology, robust diesel engines and possibly a couple of premium models too. It all looks very promising, but only time will tell whether they will come on top, or just fall like the others. Till then this was everything you need to know about rebadged cars under the Toyota-Suzuki alliance. Do let us know your predictions in the comments section!