With rising demand for SUVs amid a competitive industry, Maruti Suzuki and Toyota are expecting to roll out a new premium SUV in a collaborative effort. They have been working on this project for more than a year now in terms of product development, design and engineering.
According to ToI, R&D and component sourcing teams within Maruti have played a key part in the development of the vehicle which is likely to hit the Indian market by the second half of 2022. The collaboration between Maruti Suzuki and Toyota is likely to get aggressive since the Indian government declared the Rs 26,000 crore production linked incentive (PLI) scheme.
Various reports suggest that Suzuki and Toyota’s next generation under development models could receive modern day connectivity features. The new models could get Advanced Driver Assistant System (ADAS) and connected car technology. Experts believe the technology will see rapid proliferation, as it has become very cheap; these features will be offered on next-gen of compact models in near future.
Toyota-Suzuki joint venture’s mid-sized SUV will be positioned to take on the likes of Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, MG Astor, VW Taigun and the Skoda Kushaq. Reports say it could get a 7-seater derivative to rival the likes of the Tata Safari, Mahindra XUV700 and the Hyundai Alcazar. The new mid-sized SUV and the C-segment MPV will be based on Toyota’s new DNGA (Daihatsu New Generation Architecture), which also underpins the Daihatsu Rocky and the Toyota Raize.
A source highlighted that while the original plan of Toyota and Suzuki was to look at strong hybrids and other electrified versions, now the thoughts are being focused around pure electrics and even fuel cells. These are preliminary discussions and nothing has been finalized as yet. Another source said investments for the vehicle which has been developed ground-up, are estimated at over Rs 1,000 crore.