Recently reports have emerged that Toyota will shelve their plans of launching the 2020 Corolla for the Indian market. This will be a big blow because the Corolla has been an important product for Toyota in global markets including India. Launch of Maruti Suzuki badged version of the premium sedan too has been cancelled.
This may be due to the fact that the Corolla operates in the premium sedan segment here. This segment has seen a steady drop in sales for quite some time now. At about 200 units sold every month nowadays, the Corolla remains the best-selling vehicle in the segment. SUVs are killing sedans, and the impact is particularly high in the C-segment.
Another reason could be the BS-VI emission norms, beginning from this month onwards. This will mean a rise in manufacturing costs of the Corolla on India which despite Maruti and Toyota joining forces would not have made sense. Now report says, Maruti Suzuki will likely opt-out of the project due to its higher manufacturing costs.
Instead, Toyota and Maruti Suzuki will jointly develop a mid-size SUV and an MPV for India. Toyota will also borrow the Baleno and the Vitara Brezza from Maruti Suzuki’s stable. The company will also help Maruti Suzuki in localising hybrid technology for the Indian market. This will be in line with the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) emission standards that go into effect in 2022.
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