Toyota India has discontinued the Urban Cruiser SUV, the one based on the previous generation Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza. The carmaker has delisted the Urban Cruiser from its website, and with no replacement currently planned or in the works, this could be the end for the Maruti-based Urban Cruiser as we know it.
Toyota, of course, still has the Urban Cruiser Hyryder on sale and, in the future, there could be another SUV badged Urban Cruiser. But for now, what seems increasingly clear is that Toyota is unlikely to rebadge or restyle the new Maruti Brezza launched earlier this year.
- Sub-4m Urban Cruiser dropped from Toyota line-up
- Toyota unlikely to replace it with rebadged new Brezza
- Reasons cited, proximity in price to lower-spec Hyryder
Why did Toyota drop the Urban Cruiser?
The Urban Cruiser was the second rebadged and restyled model to be launched under the Maruti Suzuki-Toyota partnership, and it was a reasonable success for the carmaker too, having managed an average sales of about 2,200 units per month.
The primary reason for dropping the SUV from the line-up is that Toyota feels the cost premium a new Urban Cruiser would have to carry, after settling with Suzuki, would bring its price in close proximity to the larger and more premium Urban Cruiser Hyryder. For the record, the now-discontinued Urban Cruiser was priced at a premium of Rs 5,000-15,000 over the then Vitara Brezza.
The new Brezza has also moved up much higher in price and positioning, now priced between Rs 7.99 lakh-13.80 lakh (ex-showroom). In fact, top-end variants are pricier by nearly Rs 2.50 lakh over its predecessor. And so Toyota’s version, after paying Suzuki a royalty, would be more expensive still, treading close to the mid-spec variants of the Hyryder, and both still powered by the same 1.5-litre mild-hybrid petrol engine.
Why the Brezza’s positioning works for Maruti
Unlike Toyota, Maruti Suzuki has the advantage of having two separate dealer channels – Arena and Nexa. While the Brezza is sold through Arena, the Grand Vitara is sold through Nexa. This means there’s no real overlap and no real cannibalisation. So, the proximity in price doesn’t matter as much to Maruti and having more options to offer customers actually helps it snare more customers into its dragnet.
While we may not get a direct Urban Cruiser replacement, Toyota has kept the brand name alive by using it to prefix the Hyryder's name. The carmaker also could use the name on future products.
Toyota will do more joint badge engineering and restyling exercises with Maruti and Suzuki. Case in point, its version of the new Maruti Baleno as the Toyota Glanza, which this time around looks very different. And so will future cars.
Toyota will soon be unveiling the next-gen Innova MPV (Innova Hycross) on November 25 in India, and that too will spawn a Maruti derivative in the future.