The partnership between Maruti Suzuki and Toyota has been very fruitful for both companies. In India, we saw the Vitara Brezza sold as Urban Cruiser, Baleno sold as Glanza, Urban Cruiser Hyryder sold as Grand Vitara and now Maruti Suzuki is set to sell rebadged Innova Hycross as well. There are same cars but are badge engineered to sell under a different brand.
This badge exchange program between Maruti Suzuki and Toyota is not just limited to India. In markets like South Africa, Toyota already sells Starlet (rebadged Baleno), Urban Cruiser (rebadged Vitara Brezza) and Rumion (rebadged Ertiga). All of these are borrowed from Maruti Suzuki and are shipped from India.
Maruti Celerio Rebadged Toyota Vitz
Now, Toyota Vitz has been showcased in South Africa, which is basically a Maruti Suzuki Celerio and not a Toyota Yaris. There are no changes on the car except for, you guessed it, the logo. Let's take a look at Toyota Vitz and where it would fall in the company's portfolio in South Africa.
You must be wondering why we made a connection to Toyota Yaris above. There's a good reason for that. Toyota Vitz is not a new name. In the past, Toyota has used this name on Yaris hatchbacks for some markets. But now, Toyota is using it on a rebranded Celerio showcased in South Africa.
Vitz was recently unveiled at Toyota's State of Motor Industry (SOMI) event, held in Johannesburg. South Africa is the first country to get Toyota Vitz as a rebranded Celerio. Toyota plans to launch it in South Africa in second quarter of 2023. Celerio is already launched in South Africa under Suzuki brand, and prices are likely to fall in the same ballpark.
Speaking of prices, Toyota hasn't revealed how much Vitz would cost. We can draw conclusions as Celerio is priced between Rand 178,900 (approx Rs. 8.46 lakh) and Rand 213,900 (approx Rs. 10.11 lakh). An increase of around Rand 5,000 is expected in South Africa. As of now, Toyota's least expensive car in South Africa is Agya priced from Rand 200,000 (approx Rs. 9.45 lakh)
Specs & Features
In India, Toyota and Maruti Suzuki offer some kind of change between their brand-engineered cars. Baleno and Glanza look different now and so do Urban Cruiser Hyryder and Grand Vitara. This wasn't the case before as literally, everything other than their branding was identical. In South Africa, Toyota has taken a similar approach as only the logo has changed.
Celeio comes equipped with a 1.0L NA 3-cylinder engine making 66 bhp and 89 Nm of torque. It is mated to a 5-speed MT and a 5-speed AMT. Same engines are likely to be offered with Toyota Vitz too. Celerio's talking points are keyless entry, engine start/stop button, power windows and a 7" touchscreen system with wired Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
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