Toyota’s Plan to Rebadge Maruti Swift and Jimny: Why Suzuki Politely Declined

Soon after the launch of the Jimny, rumors began circulating about Toyota launching their own rebadged version of the Jimny in the market. There’s good news for all those who were worried this might become a reality. According to a recently surfaced online report, Toyota had plans not only to badge engineer the Jimny but also the Swift. However, Suzuki politely declined the offer. Suzuki and Toyota have been in partnership for years now, jointly developing products like the Maruti Grand Vitara and Hyryder. Both manufacturers sell different versions of cars in India, such as the Toyota Innova Hycross, Maruti Baleno, and Ertiga.

Maruti Jimny

As per the report, Toyota was keen to have a version of the Maruti Swift and Jimny in their lineup, but Suzuki refused, stating that both the Swift and Jimny are integral to the brands’ DNA and are not for sharing. Suzuki added that sharing these models would dilute their iconic status. While badge-engineered or rebadged versions of both Swift and Jimny would have benefited both brands, Suzuki decided against it.

If this had happened, Toyota would have immensely benefited by having an entry-level 4×4 SUV in the Indian market. This could have acted as a cheaper alternative for 4×4 enthusiasts who cannot afford a Fortuner. Regarding the Swift, it has been one of Maruti’s most popular hatchbacks since its launch. Suzuki recently launched the next-generation Swift internationally, and it’s expected to hit Indian shores next year. The Swift has been consistent in terms of sales, which was one reason why Toyota showed interest in the product.

Toyota wanted to badge-engineer Swift and Jimny: Why Maruti Suzuki Politely Declined
2024 Swift

If Suzuki had agreed to share the Swift, it would have boosted monthly sales for Toyota. Currently, rebadged Baleno and Ertiga sold via Toyota dealerships as Glanza and Rumion contribute 25 percent to the total sales. If Swift were added, it could easily add another 25 percent. the current generation Swift is so popular that Maruti sells over 17,000 units of this hatchback every month. While this is good news for Swift and Jimny fans worldwide, it was also a great opportunity for Maruti to push Jimny sales further. By sharing the Jimny, Maruti might have sold more units than it currently does.

While the Jimny is popular worldwide, in India, people are still hesitant to buy it, mainly due to the steep pricing. However, Maruti Suzuki is offering discounts and has introduced a Thunder Edition priced at Rs 10.74 lakh, ex-showroom, which has slightly boosted Jimny sales.

Apart from this, Maruti Suzuki is also working on an electric vehicle (EV). The EV has been spotted testing in India several times. The Maruti EVx is expected to be launched in the market sometime next year. Maruti is also developing a different version of the same EV for Toyota, expected to be an SUV as big as the current Grand Vitara. Information regarding the battery and range of the upcoming electric vehicle from Maruti has not yet been revealed. The upcoming electric SUV or crossover from Maruti Suzuki is expected to be priced somewhere between Rs 20-25 lakh.

Via: ACI

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