Toyota Kirloskar Motor could introduce the rebadged Maruti Vitara Brezza as the new Toyota Urban Cruiser by November this year.
Toyota Kirloskar Motors had earlier entered a partnership with Maruti Suzuki India Limited. According to the deal, the latter will supply Toyota with vehicles that would be rebadged and sold as Toyota products. The first car born out of this deal was the Maruti Baleno-based Toyota Glanza. The second product to birth out of this partnership will be the Urban Cruiser, which will be based on the Vitara Brezza. While the exact launch date is still unclear, we now have a launch window for it.
According to recent reports, Toyota might be launching its new sub-compact SUV during Diwali this year. In India, Diwali festive season is quite auspicious, and people tend to make all their significant purchases during that time. A new product launch during that time, especially in the hotly contested sub-4-metre SUV market space, might attract a lot of customers. That said, exclusivity also plays an important role here, and people might be less inclined to go for a car that is clearly not a new one. How is that, you ask? Well, if Toyota presents Indian buyers with simply a rebadged Brezza, just like the Glanza, people might not be excited about buying it. On the other hand, if the new Toyota carries a brand new design and an affordable price tag, it could have a potential winner on its hand.
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If Toyota Urban Cruiser carries the same exterior design as the Maruti Brezza, then the only practical benefit to buying one over the other would be better deals or discounts. We already know that Maruti has the biggest sales and aftersales network in India. Thus, Toyota is already the underdog here. By not differentiating the two products in design, Toyota will be further limiting itself. Also, Toyota has built a great brand image for itself as a premium carmaker, with the Innova Crysta and the Fortuner. The Japanese carmaker sure knows how to sell UVs in India, and we hope that the company’s strategy for the Urban Cruiser will be a good one.