A letter from the Company Secretary of Maruti Suzuki to the BSE has revealed that India’s largest passenger car maker will commence supply of the Vitara Brezza compact SUV to Toyota.
Maruti Suzuki’s joint venture with Toyota in India resulted in the launch of the Toyota branded Glanza premium hatchback, which brought with it a new powertrain option for the car in the form of its Dualjet petrol engine featuring mild hybrid technology. This variant also became available for the Maruti Suzuki Baleno, from which the Toyota Glanza has been derived.
Expect yet another outcome such as this to take place soon between the two carmakers as fresh news has surfaced in a letter signed by Sanjeev Grover, Vice President and Company Secretary of Maruti Suzuki, to the General Manager, Department of Corporate Services, BSE Limited. In this letter, the BSE has been informed that the Board of the Company for Maruti Suzuki has approved supply of the Vitara Brezza to Toyota Kirloskar Motor, which will result in ‘incremental sales for the company’.
The Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza has been a huge success story for Maruti Suzuki. As a compact SUV with the trusted Suzuki badge, the Vitara Brezza straight off the bat has been a runaway success ever since its launch. And once it wears another highly trusted Japanese badge, expect the Vitara Brezza’s segment dominance to increase even further. What we are left to wonder, is if we will see another powertrain option being offered in the compact SUV once its Toyota sales commence. With the move to BS6 emissions regulations, Maruti Suzuki transformed the Brezza from a diesel only model to a petrol only model.
And while this is bound to hurt sales with diesel compact SUVs on offer from the likes of Hyundai Ford, Mahindra and Tata, expect Suzuki’s new 1.5 litre diesel engine to make a comeback in India soon enough, as the company is currently waiting to gauge market response to diesel cars post the BS6 conversion. Although it has to be said, that the hike in duties on fuel prices recently by the Government to make up for losses in revenue generation during the COVID-19 lockdown has driven up diesel prices severely in some parts of the country, which may, in turn, hurt diesel car sales. So, with this development being factored in, we are yet to see how things turn out in the long run with fuel prices and the corresponding effects on demand for compact diesel passenger cars.
As of now, the Brezza is offered with a 1.5 litre petrol engine with the choice of a five-speed manual gearbox or a four-speed torque converter automatic transmission. The automatic model features Suzuki’s mild hybrid system with an integrated starter generator and a lithium-ion battery pack for the setup. Which is why, despite its higher power sapping automatic gearbox, the petrol Brezza has a higher claimed fuel efficiency figure of 18.76 km/l as compared to the manual model’s 17.03 km/l. So, with the launch of the Toyota version of the Vitara Brezza, will we see the manual model gain the mild hybrid system as well? Its worth noting, that this exact powertrain option is already available in the Ciaz and Ertiga at the moment. Although, the incorporation of the system in the Brezza will drive up its cost in the highly competitive compact car game.
The Toyota derivative of the Vitara Brezza is expected to hit the market before the end of summer this year.
Also, read - 2020 Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza Facelift Review