A fresh report out of India claims that Toyota will offer a rebadged version of the Suzuki Baleno under one of a number of new “joint projects” involving the two brands.
In May 2018, the pair of Japanese automakers announced plans to collaborate in the fields of technological development, market development and vehicle production.
According to Livemint, India’s Maruti Suzuki division will supply up to 25 000 examples of the Baleno to Toyota each year, which the latter will sell through its own dealer network in India.
The Indian publication added that the Toyota-badged version of the Gujarat-built Baleno would “undergo some minor changes” both inside and out to set it apart from its Suzuki sibling.
“The decision has already been taken by both headquarters in Japan, and the first vehicle to be launched will be Baleno,” a source told Livemint.
“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 source added.
In addition, the report suggested that the Vitara crossover would later be offered with a Toyota badge, while a Suzuki-badged Corolla was also on the cards.
While it's not yet clear whether this rumoured project will extend beyond the borders of India, the agreement announced in May indicated that the two automakers were discussing the supply of models developed by Suzuki from “India to African and other markets”.
Ryan has spent most of his career in online media, writing about everything from sport to politics and other forms of crime. But his true passion – reignited by a 1971 Austin Mini Mk3 still tucked lifeless in a dark corner of his garage – is of the automotive variety.