Top sources told TOI that the new SUV has been in the works for more than a year and will be a collaborative effort of the product development, design, engineering and sourcing teams of Toyota as well as Maruti’s parent Suzuki. R&D and component sourcing teams within Maruti have also played a key part in the development of the vehicle which is likely to hit the Indian market by the second half of next year.
The collaboration between the two companies is likely to get aggressive, especially after the Indian government announced a Rs 26,000-crore production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme focused only on electrics and hydrogen-fuel cell vehicles.
“While the original plan of the companies was to look at strong hybrids and other electrified versions (running on both battery and petrol), now the thoughts are being focused around pure electrics and even fuel cells. These are preliminary discussions, and nothing has been finalised as yet. However, it can be said with certainty that it’s a joint future,” one of the sources said.
Talking about the premium SUV, the source said that investments for the vehicle which has been developed ground-up – are estimated at over Rs 1,000 crore. “It’s an ambitious product, and perhaps the first collaborative all-new vehicle that the two companies have developed together.”