Tokyo: Toyota Motor Corp and Suzuki Motor Corp agreed to produce cars for each other in India as Toyota aims to increase its market share in the world’s fifth-largest passenger car market.
The agreement follows an R&D tie-up announced by the two Japanese automakers a year ago, and will see Toyota, one of the world’s biggest automakers, secure production from its much smaller rival, which dominates India with its line-up of affordable compact cars.
Suzuki will supply gasoline and mild-gasoline hybrid versions of its Baleno hatchback, along with the Vitara Brezza compact SUV to Toyota while the latter will produce gasoline and gasoline-hybrid Corolla sedans for Suzuki, the automakers said.
Analysts said the arrangement would help Toyota expand its presence in India, where it has struggled to grow sales due to lean demand for its lower-cost models.
“India is a big blemish on Toyota’s otherwise strong track record for breaking into emerging markets,” said Janet Lewis, head of Asia transportation research at Macquarie Securities.
“By selling rebadged and slightly changed Balenos and Vitaras, Toyota can bolster its distribution network and move more towards expanding its market share.”
Manufacturing will begin by mid-2019. Under the deal, vehicles made by Suzuki will be rebranded and renamed as Toyota cars, while the Toyota vehicles will sport the Suzuki badge.
A Toyota spokeswoman declined to give details on production figures, while the Nikkei business daily reported that Toyota would supply around 10,000 vehicles to Suzuki, while Suzuki would produce up to 50,000 units annually for Toyota.
The deepening partnership between the two automakers will enable Suzuki to tap into Toyota’s R&D firepower to develop lower-emission vehicles and self-driving cars – areas which Suzuki has admitted it is struggling to keep up with.
The two companies plan to introduce electric cars in India around 2020.
Suzuki has dominated the Indian automobile market through a majority stake in Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, the country’s largest automaker, which sold roughly 1.6 million vehicles last year, accounting for every other car sold in the country. Producing 50,000 vehicles for Toyota would represent just a sliver of what Suzuki sold in India in 2017.
Toyota lags far behind with a roughly 5 per cent market share. An additional 50,000 units could push Toyota’s annual sales above those of Honda Motor and Tata Motors, but it will still lag far behind the top three manufacturers – Suzuki, Hyundai Motor Co and Mahindra & Mahindra.
Last year, Toyota sold roughly 140,000 cars in India, leaving its two plants in the country to operate at about half their capacity of manufacturing more than 300,000 vehicles a year.
Toyota has produced cars specifically for the Indian market for 20 years, but sales have been dented by poor demand of its last two no-frills models made specifically for India, the Etios sedan and the Liva hatchback, which were criticised for compromising on quality and finish to keep costs low.
The supply from Suzuki would alleviate pressure on Toyota to develop its own low-cost models for the country under its Daihatsu compact car brand, which has made limited progress in developing affordable, appealing models for emerging markets.
In the past, Toyota had looked to Daihatsu for help to develop affordable, competitive cars in India. But its engineers and parts purchasing managers have told Reuters that establishing supply chains from scratch which can compete with Suzuki’s would be highly time-consuming.
US to eliminate Iran oil sanctions waiver for India, 7 others:Report
Washington: The United States is expected to announce that all importers of Iranian oil will have to end their imports shortly or be subject to US sanctions, a source familiar with the situation told Reuters.
The source confirmed a report by a Washington Post columnist that the administration will terminate the sanctions waivers it had granted to some importers of Iranian oil late last year.
US President Donald Trump has been clear to his national security team over the last few weeks that he wants the waivers to end, and national security adviser John Bolton has been working the issue within the administration.
The US reimposed sanctions in November on exports of Iranian oil after Trump unilaterally pulled out of a 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and six world powers Washington is pressuring Iran to curtail its nuclear program and stop backing militant proxies across the Middle East.
Along with sanctions, Washington has also granted waivers to eight economies that had reduced their purchases of Iranian oil, allowing them to continue buying it without incurring sanctions for six more months
They were China, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Italy and Greece.
But on Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will announce “that, as of May 2, the State Department will no longer grant sanctions waivers to any country that is currently importing Iranian crude or condensate,” the Post’s columnist Josh Rogin said in his report, citing two State Department officials that he did not name
Frank Fannon, US Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources, repeated the administration’s position that “Our goal is to get to zero Iranian exports as quickly as possible.
“Other countries have been watching to see whether the United States would continue the waivers. Last Tuesday, Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said that Turkey expects the United States to extend a waiver granted to Ankara to continue oil purchases from Iran without violating US sanctions.
Turkey did not support US sanctions policy on Iran and did not think it would yield the desired result, Kalin told reporters in Washington.
Washington has a campaign of ‘maximum economic pressure’ on Iran and through sanctions, it eventually aims to halt Iranian oil exports and thereby choke Tehran’s main source of revenue.
So far in April, Iranian exports were averaging below 1 million barrels per day (bpd), according to Refinitiv Eikon data and two other companies that track such exports and declined to be identified.
That is lower than at least 1.1 million bpd as estimated for March, and down from more than 2.5 million bpd before sanctions were reimposed last May. Brent crude futures , the international oil benchmark, were up nearly 2 per cent at USD 73.25 a barrel, on the report that the waivers were to end.
Maruti drives in Baleno with BS VI compliant petrol engine
New Delhi: The country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) Said it has launched its premium hatchback Baleno with BS VI emission norms compliant petrol engine, priced between Rs 5.58 lakh and Rs 8.9 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).
The auto major has also introduced two variants of the car with smart hybrid technology. The trim with 1.2 litre DUALJET, DUAL VVT petrol engine is priced at Rs 7.25 lakh, while the Zeta variant is tagged at Rs 7.86 lakh. As per the company, the models with smart hybrid technology would deliver a fuel efficiency of 23.87 km/litre.
“At Maruti Suzuki, we strive to bring newer, better and environment friendly technologies to our products. Baleno Smart Hybrid with BS VI stands testament to the same. We are confident that the premium hatchback Baleno will present a complete package in line with aspirations of evolving customers,” MSI Senior Executive Director Marketing & Sales R S Kalsi said in a statement.
The company said in order to achieve the stringent emission regulation requirement, it has upgraded both engine hardware and software along with exhaust system.”Baleno is country’s first premium hatchback to be offered with Smart Hybrid technology,” it added.
MSI has sold over 5.5 lakh Baleno units since its launch in 2015. It sold more than 2 lakh units of the hatchback in the last fiscal year.
SpiceJet, Emirates sign MoU for code share partnership
Mumbai: Budget carrier Spicejet announced signing of an initial pact for code share partnership with Gulf carrier Emirates.
The reciprocal partnership will allow opening of new routes and destinations for passengers of the two airlines, SpiceJet said in a statement.
“I am delighted to announce that as part of SpiceJet’s international expansion strategy, we have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a code share agreement,” SpiceJet Chairman and Managing Director Ajay Singh said in the statement.
SpiceJet passengers from 51 domestic destinations will be able to access Emirates’ network across the US, Europe, Africa and Middle East, it added.
Code-sharing allows an airline to book its passengers on its partner carriers and provide seamless travel to destinations where it has no presence.