Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) on Friday reported a 9 per cent decline in total vehicle sales in January to 12,067 units, compared with 13,239 units in the same month last year. Commenting on the sales performance, TKM Deputy Managing Director N Raja said: “With the closure of special offers/year-end schemes, the buying sentiment has witnessed a dip this month. The tightening of vehicle financing availability has also added to the challenges in the market’’.
Japanese automaker Toyota recently signed an agreement with another Japanese carmaker Suzuki to share few models and technology. In the second half o of 2019, Toyota is all geared up to sell Baleno under Toyota badging and will be available for sale at the Toyota’s dealership.
N Raja, Deputy Managing Director at Toyota Kirloskar Motor said to Autocar India said, “One thing we're working on now is one of the products from the alliance – the Baleno. Towards the second half of this year, we should be seeing it made available to our dealers for sale’’.
“From Toyota's side, our focus is to differentiate the sales experience for the customers that we get. We would look at Toyota's strengths of sales. We have more than 1.5 million Toyota customers, we have to focus on how we approach them and offer them this product so that they remain in the Toyota family’’, added Raja.
As per the agreement, Suzuki will share its ‘Baleno’ as well as ‘Vitara Brezza’ to Toyota. On the other hand, Toyota will share its best-selling car ‘Corolla’ to Suzuki. Meanwhile, premium hatchback Baleno is in direct competition Hyundai Elite i20 and Honda Jazz.
Under the new badging, Baleno is expected to arrive with few cosmetic changes on the front end as well on the inside of the car.
It will be interesting to see whether this collaboration helps Toyota in the Indian market to increase the number of sales significantly or not.