By Auto Crat
You will have noticed two very interesting cars on Indian roads in the last few months. One looks exactly like the well known Maruti Suzuki hatchback Baleno, while the other looks almost exactly like Maruti Suzuki’s compact SUV Brezza. The only minor differences are in the lights, the names and the logo. The logo is of Toyota. The names are Glanza and Urban Cruiser, respectively.
Under the global partnership between Toyota and Suzuki, Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) and Maruti Suzuki have been sharing cars using a cross-badging strategy.
So what’s going on? It is called cross-badging, a concept that car manufacturers worldwide use to use one successful platform to boost another company’s product. But this has miserably failed in India in the past.
The basic idea a buyer in India gets is that either one company or, scarier still, both companies are trying to fool the customer. That adds little to the credibility of the companies. Here, though both companies are pretty famous. Maruti has complete hold of the small car market of the country, and Toyota has an incredible presence around the world and its Innova and Fortuner rule the Indian roads in those categories.
Good that the two companies have tied up for technology and marketing exchange. It helps boost each company, but is this the only way to present that tie-up before the customer?
Let us look back a bit at the fate of earlier cross-badging efforts in India.
The Duster example
The Renault Duster had an incredible run in India. It was this car that kept Renault functioning in the country. But then Renault wanted to help out Nissan – they have a business relationship, with common stock holding – and the Nissan Terrano was launched. Even to the lay eye it was clear that it was the same cart, and even the cosmetic changes were minor. And that included the name. The car bombed on the market.
The ultimate result was that even the highly popular Duster slowly saw its customers die, moving to other more modern offerings from other companies.
Not a new concept
Cross-badging in the auto industry is not a new concept. Several companies have been doing this for decades across the world, depending on which brand is strong. A variant of the Gypsy as we knew in India, for example is sold as the Jimny across the world. It has become so popular that Suzuki wants to introduce the Jimny here. But, remember, the Gypsy’s run ended in India quite some back. New age buyers are not accustomed to seeing the Gypsy on Indian roads any more.
Probably the earliest example of cross-badging was with the Morris Oxford of England. When it was copied and produced and manufactured in India by Hindustan Motors, it was named the Ambassador, an iconic car that ruled the country’s roads for decades. However, the Morris Oxford was not available in India.
Others included City Rover as Tata India, Subaru Forester as Chevrolet Forester, Nissan Micra and Renault Pulse, Volkswagen Vento and Skoda Rapid (they are still found on the roads), Daewoo Matiz as Chevrolet Spark, Renault Logan and Mahindra Verito, Fiat 1100D and Premier Padmini etc.
Maybe such cross-badging makes business sense and a good sense in costing, but the marketing aspect, especially to Indian customers crashed. Cross-badged cars share not only the main platform, the chassis, the body, the engine, the transmission, and many other issues that barely distinguish one from the other.
The confusion becomes clear when a person driving a Baleno, with a Toyota logo and called the Glanza, faces a critical question: “Who built this car?” Frankly, it is like Honda having a deal with Mercedes Benz and then adding the Benz star onto a Honda City Bonnet. It is a joke.
When the Indian buyer pays his hard earned money, he pays for the goodwill of one company. He would not be paying for a cross-breed, whatever the logo involved. Plus the Urban Cruiser branding of Maruti’s Brezza by Toyota sounds cheap. People are not fools. They know how famous worldwide is Toyota’s Land Cruiser.
This looks and feels like a cheap deal for the buyer. Why these two companies decided to cross-brand these popular models in a market that abhors this practice is not known, but in the end, it does not look like a sound business decision.
The Glanza has been the first shared product. The Glanza made its debut close on the heels of Maruti launching the 2022 Baleno.
Dimension comparison: The Glanza is the same length, height and width as the Baleno, has the same wheelbase and the same 339-litre boot. Barring the Toyota badge on the steering wheel, they’re identical even on the inside, with the same interior colour scheme and 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system.
The cabin of the Glanza is also identical to the Baleno facelift and the only change we can see is the Toyota badge on the steering wheel.
The all-black interior theme with blue pattern on seats and door armrests is also the same and it is equipped with Maruti’s latest Smartplay studio infotainment system which Toyota is calling ‘Smart Playcast Audio System’.
The key difference is in the engine and variants department. The Maruti Suzuki Baleno gets 89 bhp petrol engine, whereas the Toyota Glanza comes in 88 bhp petrol engine.
The Baleno is available in a range of variants across price points – it starts with the base Sigma petrol, which is priced at Rs 5.58 lakh, and closes out with the Alpha petrol-CVT, priced at Rs 8.90 lakh. On the other hand, the Toyota Glanza is only available in two high trims – G (based on the Baleno Zeta) and V (based on the Baleno Alpha), and both have the same features as the corresponding Baleno variant.
Another important point is that the Maruti Baleno offers the option of a diesel engine – at least till some time before BS6 emission norms come into effect. The Glanza only gets BS6-compliant petrol and petrol mild-hybrid versions.
Features: The updated Toyota hatch gets new styling, an upgraded engine, added features, and more importantly, a rejigged variant line-up that brings down its starting price compared to the outgoing model.
Toyota is demanding nearly Rs 1 lakh extra for the top-spec V variant, which comes loaded with all the bells and whistles. On the other hand, it’s priced similarly to most of its rivals’ top-spec variants as well.
The top-spec Glanza V variant is the best version of the premium hatchback. It gets all the cool features like the larger 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system, 360-degree camera and heads-up display. It also features the UV cut class, cruise control, auto-folding ORVMs, and LED fog lamps for added convenience.
Toyota Glanza V is the petrol variant in the Glanza lineup and is priced at Rs 9.19 Lakh. It returns a certified mileage of 22.35 kmpl.
This V variant comes with an engine putting out 88 bhp @ 6000 rpm and 113 Nm @ 4400 rpm of max power and max torque, respectively.
Other features include a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, auto AC, auto dimming IRVM, dual front airbags, ISOFIX child seat anchors and rear parking sensors. However, the V variant does get some additional features in the form of a rear parking camera, UV cut glass.
- · Engine Capacity – No of cylinders 1197cc – 4 Cylinders
- · Max power66kw@6000rpm (89PS)
- · Torque113 Nm @ 4400 rpm
- · Fuel efficiency22.35 kmpl (MT) and 22.94 kmpl (AMT)
- · Idle start/stopAll Variants
- · Length X Width X Height3990 mm X 1745 mm X 1500 mm
- · Wheelbase2520 mm
- · Bootspace*318L
- · Turning radius4.85 m
- · Fuel Tank capacity37 litres
- · Seating Capacity5
- · Suspension type FrontMacPherson strut
- · Suspension type RearTorsion beam
- · Brake type FrontDisc
- · Brake type RearDrum
- · Kerb weight (KG)920-955 (MT), 935-960 (AMT)
- · Gross Weight (KG)1410
- · Sporty Front bumper with Carbon fibre Texture element
- · Body Coloured Bumpers
- · Cool new Wide & Sharp front grill with Horizontal chrome bar plating
- · New Sleek Alloy wheel+Tire 195/55 R16 (Polished surface) with centre cap
- · Steel wheel+Tire 185/65 R15 with Full wheel cap-
- · Spare Wheel (Steel Wheel – 185/65 R15)
- · Projector headlampLED
- · LED Fog lamps
- · Auto headlight w Welcome home lighting
- · LED Daytime Running Lamp (DRL)
- · Turn lamp (Door mirrors)
- · Tail lamp + Brake lamp + Highmounted stop lampLED
- · Rear window wiper & washer
- · UV Protect Glass
- · ORVM Body Coloured
- · Outside door handle – chrome
- · Outside door handle body coloured-
- · Back door / Trunk lid garnish
- · Back door Spoiler
- · Floating roof effect w A/B/C Pillar black out
- · Classy Dual Tone (Dashboard + Seats)
- · Interactive TFT Tachometer display – Door ajar warning – Tachometer – Speedometer – Clock & outside temperature – Average fuel economy4.2 inch (Colour)
- · Leather wrapped steering wheel
- · All New Smart Playcast Audio* (Touch Screen) [Smartphone
- connect (Android auto/Apple carplay), Hey Siri & Hello Google
- compatible, Smartplay cast Pro (Remote Control app), Smart Playcast
- Pro S (Audio OTA update)]22.86 cm
- · Smart Playcast Audio* [Touch screen FM/AM/, Smartphone
- connect (Android auto/Apple carplay)]-
- · Door speaker 4N
- · Tweeter2N
- · Hey Toyota
- · Premium sound system (Arkamys)
- · Automatic Shift panel- Piano Black
- Toyota i-Connect
- · Remote check & Control (Lock/Unlock, Hazard lights,
- Headlights, Distance to empty)
- · Smart Watch & Hey Siri Voice Assistance Compatibility
- · Vehicle Safety & security – Auto collision notification, Tow
- alert, Geo fencing, Find my car & Valet profile
- · Service connect – Vehicle health & Malfunction indicator
- · ABS / EBD
- · Vehicle Stability Control (ESP)
- · Hill hold control
- · Automatically door lock by speed
- · High speed alert system* (>80kmph)
- · Immobilizer
- · Front Airbags (Driver + Co-driver)
- · Front side airbag
- · Curtain airbag
- · Front seat belt pre-tensioners and Force limiter (Driver + Co-driver)
- · Isofix Anchorage
- · Child-proof rear door locks
- COMFORT & CONVENIENCE
- · Toyota i-Connect* (Connect to Toyota)
- · ORVMs Electric adjust & retract(Auto)
- · Manual ORVMS-
- · Remote keyless entry
- · All power windows
- · Driver side Auto up/Down with Pinch Guard
- · Keyless push start system
- · Head Up Display (HUD)
- · 360 Degree camera (Surround view)
- · Back Camera-
- · Rear Parking sensor
- · Gear shift indicator
- · Day / night rear view mirror(Auto)
- · Cruise control
- · Adjustable Steering (Tilt + Telescopic)
- · Steering mounted Audio & calling
- · Driver seat height adjust
- · Auto AC
- · Rear A/C Vent
- · Front center armrest with Slide
- · Center console with cupholder
- · Seat back pocket (Co-driver)
- · 60:40 Split rear seats
- · Front seat adjustable headrest
- · Rear seat adjustable headrest
- · Room lamp (Roof center)
- · Spot map lamp (Roof front)
- · Luggage room lamp + Glove box light +Front footwell light
- · Courtesy Lamp
- · Interior light turn-on when IG OFF or Key open
- · Pet bottle holder (Front door + Rear Door) 1000ml
- · Co-Driver vanity mirror
- · Vanity mirror + Lamp + ticket holder (Driver + Co-driver)
- · Rear Defogger
- · Rear Fast Charging USB
- · Luggage room Shelf