Toyota and Suzuki Readying Compact Battery Electric Vehicle for India

Toyota is a huge name globally while Suzuki is a small player. However, by a quirk of market entry timing, Maruti-Suzuki is the largest car maker in India with a market share of around 50% while Toyota is a much smaller player with single digit market share.

The two companies entered into an agreement in 2017 to develop compact battery electric vehicles for private use in India. The technology would be provided by Toyota, while the car would be manufactured in India by Suzuki for both the companies. As the Indian market is extremely price sensitive, these cars need to be priced correctly. Presently the cost of most of the electric vehicles is way beyond the purchasing capacity of the average buyer.

Though Suzuki has independently developed an electric version of their hugely popular Wagon R, and tested it extensively across the country, the cost of the electric version is more than double the price of the petrol version at INR 12 Lakhs (US$ 16,700). Maruti Suzuki considers this to be a very steep price for personal purchase and hopes to sell the car to fleet operators.

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