Autocar India reports word from a Suzuki source that the smaller company “politely declined” a request to “badge engineer the Jimny and Swift”.
“It’s like asking Toyota to let us badge engineer the LandCruiser. Models that are at the heart of our brand are not meant for sharing and both companies respect that,” the source told the Indian publication.
The Jimny and Swift are by far Suzuki’s two most popular models on the Australian market, though sales of the Jimny have reportedly declined in India while the Swift remains a consistent seller.
Indian subsidiary Maruti Suzuki sold 3778 Jimnys on the subcontinent in July, but this has since steadily declined according to Economic Times Auto. It sold 1100 units in October.
In various markets, Suzuki and Toyota have badge-engineered each other’s products.
The Toyota Corolla and RAV4 are sold in Europe as the Suzuki Swace and Across; the Suzuki Baleno is a Toyota Glanza in India and a Toyota Starlet in Africa; and the Suzuki Ertiga people mover eventually gained Toyota Rumion badging in some markets.
More recently, the Suzuki Grand Vitara and Toyota Urban Cruiser Hyryder SUVs were conceived as badge-engineered twins for India and Africa, developed by Suzuki and built by Toyota.
Toyota acquired a 4.94 per cent stake in Suzuki in 2019. It also has a similarly sized stake in Mazda, plus a larger stake – around 20 per cent of issued shares – in Subaru.
While Suzuki may be unwilling to let Toyota rebadge two of its most recognisable and popular products, it has both given and received many products for rebadging over the years.
As a small car specialist, it has long supplied kei cars to Mazda, Mitsubishi and Nissan in Europe, including the Carry and Solio.
Looking further back, its SX4 was rebadged as a Fiat Sedici in Europe, while it sold a version of the Nissan Frontier/Navara in North America as the Equator, while also rebadging the Daewoo Kalos, Lacetti and Magnus as the Suzuki Swift+, Forenza and Reno, and Verona in the same market.