Japanese auto majors Toyota and Suzuki on Friday said they will deepen their collaboration in the fields of development and production in India.
Under the initiative, the two companies will start production of a new SUV developed by Suzuki at Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) in August this year, they said in a joint statement.
Suzuki's Indian arm, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, and TKM will market the new model in India as Suzuki and Toyota models, respectively, it added.
"Furthermore, the two companies are planning to export the new model to markets outside India including Africa," the statement said.
Commenting on the development, Toyota President Akio Toyoda said,"We are pleased to announce the new SUV with Suzuki, a company that has a long history of local involvement in the Indian business."
Today, he said the automotive industry is facing various challenges such as electrification and carbon neutrality.
"By leveraging the respective strengths of Toyota and Suzuki to provide Indian customers with a variety of options, we hope to contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions and realize a society where 'no-one is left behind' and 'everyone can move freely'," he added.
Similarly, Suzuki President Toshihiro Suzuki said, the production of the new SUV at TKM is a project that can contribute to the growth of India by providing eco-friendly mobility needed by customers.
He further said, "We recognize that it is a big milestone toward further deepening our collaboration in the future. We appreciate the support from Toyota, and at the same time, will explore new synergy and business opportunities through continuous collaboration."
The powertrains of the new model to be on sale in India will be equipped with a mild-hybrid developed by Suzuki and a strong hybrid developed by Toyota, the statement said.
"By bringing together the strengths of both Toyota and Suzuki through the collaboration, the two companies will be able to provide a wide variety of vehicle electrification technologies to customers and contribute to the acceleration of electrification and the realization of a carbon-neutral society in India," they said.
Including investment in the expansion of collaboration in India, Toyota and Suzuki said they will remain committed to the achievement of the 'Make in India' initiative promoted by the Indian government, and contribute to sustainable economic growth and to the vision of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2070.
Toyota Motor Corporation and Suzuki Motor Corporation had signed a memorandum of understanding for a business alliance in 2017.
"Since then, the two companies have been bringing together Toyota's strength in electrification technologies and Suzuki's strength in technologies for compact vehicles for joint collaboration in production and in the widespread popularization of electrified vehicles," they said.
Under the partnership, at present TKM sells Suzuki's premium hatchback Baleno as Glanza and compact SUV Brezza as Urban Cruiser in India.