The Toyota-Suzuki joint venture will see the addition of yet another new product for South Africa. The current-gen Maruti Suzuki Celerio that is made in India will be sold in South Africa as the Toyota Vitz. The new Toyota Vitz will go on sale in the coming months and will replace the Toyota Agya in the South African domestic market.
- Celerio to be sold as Toyota Vitz in South Africa
- Will go on sale in the coming months
- Will not get any major mechanical changes
Toyota Vitz: What’s different?
A first image of the rebadged Celerio (new Toyota Vitz) has surfaced online; the car is visible from the front three quarters and looks almost similar to the current Celerio. The only visible difference is the usage of Toyota logo and Vitz badging instead of the usual Suzuki ones. While it is not confirmed, we don’t expect any major changes on the interior or mechanical side and the Celerio-based Toyota Vitz will most likely continue with the same 1.0-litre K10C DualJet petrol engine mated to either a five-speed manual or an AMT automatic.
Vitz: another reincarnated Toyota moniker
With each new Suzuki-supplied product, Toyota seems to be reincarnating older model names for the cars sold in South Africa and a few Middle Eastern markets. The trend started with Toyota introducing the previous-gen Baleno as the Toyota Starlet in South Africa and Toyota Glanza in India. The Glanza and Starlet were names of Toyota hatchbacks that were sold overseas in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Next was the Toyota Rumion, which essentially is a rebadged Maruti Suzuki Ertiga. The name “Rumion” was earlier used for an MPV derivative based on the Corolla in the early 2000s. The made-in-India Ciaz sedan sold in markets like Jordan is marketed as Toyota Belta, which is again a reused name that was earlier used on a Toyota Echo-based sedan in some international markets.
The Celerio-based Vitz moniker is also being reintroduced as the erstwhile Toyota Vitz was a hatchback based on the Yaris and Toyota Aqua sold in markets like Japan among others till a few years ago. Apart from these, the made-in-India Toyota Urban Cruiser, which is based on the previous-gen Maruti Vitara Brezza, is still on sale in the South African market for the time being.
Toyota-Suzuki partnership: what’s next for India?
While the above mentioned line-up of rebadged made-in-India Suzuki models is for overseas markets, Toyota India will see a product expansion this year with two more rebadged Maruti models. These include a new MPV for India, which will be based on the Ertiga and an SUV coupe based on the recently unveiled Fronx.
Additionally, thanks to the Toyota-Suzuki JV, Maruti will get its first Toyota-supplied model this year in the form of an all-new MPV based on the Innova Hycross. Both brands will also see jointly developed EVs in future, with the first one coming in 2025 in the form of the production version of the Maruti eVX concept, which will also spawn a Toyota derivative.