Toyota's rebadging of Suzuki products is continuing with indications of the Suzuki Ertiga being the next model to get a Toyota badge.
The rebadging of Suzuki products as Toyotas has been fascinating to watch. Take the Suzuki Baleno, a good car that offered a lot of value for not much money, yet sold so few. However, stick a Toyota badge on it, call it the Starlet and the sales figures go through the roof. The car is fundamentally the same as the Suzuki, with just a different badge on the nose.
The same can be said for the Suzuki Vitara Brezza and Toyota Urban Cruiser, with the latter selling in much greater numbers than the car upon which it is based. What's the deal with Toyota and Suzuki here, anyway?
Now, according to a fresh report coming out of Indian publication IndianAutosBlog, the Toyota/Suzuki product offensive is continuing with more rebadged cars in the pipeline. The big news is the Suzuki Ertiga will be given the treatment, and it will sit underneath the Toyota Innova. That model is no longer offered in South Africa, so we suspect the Ertiga will be rebadged as the new Toyota Avanza - a popular and affordable MPV. As before, we expect there to be no mechanical differences, with some slight cosmetic changes inside and out in order to differentiate it from its donor car.
Toyota is not stopping there either and the Suzuki Ciaz sedan is also a target for a badge swap, but this would put it directly alongside the Toyota Corolla Quest, so we can't see that happening in South Africa. The Corolla Quest is made at Toyota's Prospecton facility in SA, further denting any hopes of a Toyota-badged Ciaz making landfall.
It's certainly interesting times for the two brands and while Toyota continues its local dominance in the sales charts, Suzuki's astronomical growth over the past few years has been deeply impressive. Given the popularity of the Toyota Avanza, the Suzuki Ertiga with a Toyota badge on the nose should sell well.This article was originally published on Cars.co.za.