Toyota and Suzuki have announced a new collaboration to share technology and bolster their electric and hybrid businesses.
In the latest example of vehicle manufacturers coming together to alleviate financial impacts of new technology development, the two companies say they have concluded a memorandum of understanding signed on 6 February 2017.
In addition to bringing together Toyota's strength in electrification technologies and Suzuki's strength in technologies for compact vehicles, the two manufacturers intend to grow in new fields, such as collaboration in production and the widespread popularisation of electrified vehicles.
The collaboration will see Toyota supply its hybrid system to Suzuki, while the smaller Japanese manufacturer will also use Toyota platforms to build two new electrified vehicles. Suzuki will share its compact platform, allowing the larger business to build two small cars for the Indian market.
Additionally, Toyota will adopt newly developed Suzuki engines for compact vehicles, which will be supported by the carmaker and its technology partner Denso and will be built at Toyota facilities in Poland.
Drawing upon Suzuki's expertise in developing vehicles in India, there will also be joint development of a Toyota C-segment MPV with OEM supply to Suzuki.
Moving forward, insofar as Toyota and Suzuki continue to fairly and freely compete against each other, both companies intend to consider further collaboration to realise a sustainable future mobility society while respecting all applicable laws.
Toyota President Akio Toyoda said: ‘When it comes to vehicle electrification, which is expected to make further inroads, hybrid technologies are seen as playing a huge role in many markets, as from before. Widespread acceptance is necessary for electrified vehicles to be able to contribute to the Earth's environment. Through our new agreement, we look forward to the wider use of hybrid technologies, not only in India and Europe but also around the world. At the same time, we believe that the expansion of our business partnership with Suzuki will help give us the competitive edge we will need to survive this once-in-a-century period of profound transformation.’
Suzuki Chairman Osamu Suzuki added his gratitude for Toyota allowing Suzuki to use its well-developed hybrid systems in its vehicles, which will allow the company to remain competitive in a changing automotive landscape.
In this new market, once fierce rivalries are increasingly making way for partnerships that will benefit each company, allowing them to share cost burdens and come to market quicker by decreasing development time.
Ford and Volkswagen (VW) are working together on commercial vehicles and are discussing the potential of sharing electric vehicle (EV) platforms, most notably VW’s MEB architecture. The German company has also said it is open to sharing the platform further and has partnered with autonomous start-up e.GO.
Toyota has also taken a small stake in Mazda as the two companies partner on EV development.