Over 40% of Toyota India sales in past 12 months were Maruti-rebadged products

Of the 249,737 Toyota cars and SUVs sold in India between May 1, 2023 and April 30, 2024, rebadged Maruti Suzuki models accounted for 109,706 units or 44% of its wholesales.

By Sahil Kukreja, Autocar India calendar 22 May 2024 Views icon9441 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Over 40% of Toyota India sales in past 12 months were Maruti-rebadged products

Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM), which registered its best-ever fiscal wholesales of 245,676 units in FY2024 and strong 42% YoY growth (FY2023: 173,245 units, continues to benefit substantially from its badge-engineered products.

Following Toyota’s global product-sharing agreement with Suzuki Motor Corporation that began in India in 2019 with the launch of the Glanza hatchback, TKM now retails four different rebadged products in the country. As per industry wholesales data, these four models – Glanza (based on the Maruti Baleno), the recently launched Urban Cruiser Taisor (based on Maruti Fronx), Rumion (based on Maruti Ertiga) and Urban Cruiser Hyryder (which shares its underpinnings with the Maruti Grand Vitara).

In the past 12 months, between May 1, 2023 and April 30, 2024, TKM sold 249,737 cars and SUVs in the Indian market, of which 109,706 units – or 43.92% – were rebadged Maruti Suzuki products. The badge-engineered models include the partnership has also resulted in Maruti Suzuki borrowing Toyota’s Innova Hycross (Invicto).

The Toyota Glanza, which is the rebadged Maruti Baleno, has sold 52,989 units in the past 12 months. 

In the past year, the Glanza, with 52,989 units, was the top-selling Maruti-rebadged product, followed by the Urban Cruiser Hyryder midsize SUV with 49,552 units. The Rumion MPV, launched in August 2023, recorded dispatches of 7,165 units over nine months. Do note that the overall sales number does not include the Urban Cruiser Taisor since it is still a relatively new product.

The raison d’etre for Toyota-Maruti badge-engineering
The auto industry is capital intensive where scale is really important. Badge-engineering is a smart way of sharing costs and generating more volumes. The investment to make changes is minimal, and buyers have also shown a positive response to such products. Badge-engineering also means that the company borrowing the product, Toyota in this case, doesn’t have to spend any money on development. 

Before the Maruti-Toyota rebadging began, Toyota tried its hand at introducing affordable cars such as the Etios and Etios Liva, but the two cars failed to cement their position in the competitive Indian market. Another aspect that makes this partnership a success is the fact that Toyota-badged models haven’t impacted sales of corresponding Maruti cars. This is also because of the arrangement between the two that ensures the owner of the product has the right to maximum volumes.

Part of a global product-sharing programme
The Toyota-Maruti Suzuki partnership isn't only limited to India. A host of Maruti Suzuki products are also exported to other markets and sold with the Toyota badge. The Maruti Baleno is sold as the Toyota Starlet in South Africa, while the Ciaz is retailed under the Toyota Belta moniker in a few African countries.

Suzuki Motor Corp also borrows a few Toyota products overseas, including the Corolla Touring Sports which is sold as Suzuki Swace estate, while the Suzuki A-Cross sold in Europe is essentially the rebadged Toyota RAV4.

Toyota-badged models prices higher than donor Marutis
As per the trend observed thus far, Toyota-badged cars are priced at a slight premium over their donor Maruti Suzuki products despite the same equipment list. For reference, the Glanza and Hyryder variants are about Rs 25,000 costlier than the Baleno and Grand Vitara, respectively. However, the price difference goes up to about Rs 70,000 between the Toyota Rumion and its corresponding  corresponding Maruti Ertiga variant.

The Maruti Invicto MPV, which is based on the Toyota Innova Hycross,  undercuts it in pricing as a result of some feature deletions.

Despite being based on the Toyota Innova Hycross, the Maruti Invicto MPV actually undercuts it as a result of some feature deletions which include the ottoman seats, JBL audio system and ADAS. As regards the recently launched Urban Cruiser Taisor, while its non-turbo variants are priced at a slight premium over the Maruti Fronx, the turbo-petrol variants of the two cars are priced identically, which means Toyota is bearing the brunt of the rebadging and not passing it on to the buyer.

What’s coming up?
The strategic partnership will result in more badge-engineered products in the future, including three-row iterations of the Grand Vitara and Toyota Urban Cruiser Hyryder, as well as the Maruti eVX electric SUV and its Toyota-badged version. 

RELATED ARTICLES
Hyundai Alcazar turns three, sells over 75,000 units in India and exports 27,176

auther Autocar Pro News Desk calendar18 Jun 2024

Launched on June 18, 2021, the Creta-based Alcazar packs the Creta’ strengths with the flexibility of a six- or seven-se...

Citroen e-C3 sells 3,451 units since launch, has orders for 7,000 more

auther Autocar Pro News Desk calendar14 Jun 2024

The third of the four Citroen cars and SUVs to be launched in India, the electric avatar of the C3 hatchback is seeing g...

Citroen e-C3 sells 3,451 units since launch, has orders for 7,000 more

auther Autocar Pro News Desk calendar14 Jun 2024

The third of the four Citroen cars and SUVs to be launched in India, the electric avatar of the C3 hatchback is seeing g...