Suzuki Motor Corporation and Toyota Motor Corporation have announced today that they plan to start exploring ideas directed towards a business partnership.
A press release on both company website states that the environment surrounding the automotive industry has been changing drastically and rapidly in an unprecedented fashion. As such, the industry is required to work not only on conventional automobile R&D, but also on R&D for advanced and future technologies in the fields including environment, safety, and IT. In addition to the R&D that is conducted by individual companies, it is increasingly important to work together with other companies on areas such as infrastructure development, as well as the establishment of new industrial standards.
With its primary focus on mini-vehicles, Suzuki says it has been refining its technologies so as to develop vehicles with high price competitiveness. However, in the field of advanced and future R&D, SMC is increasingly feeling a sense of uncertainty. Meanwhile, Toyota, which has been working on R&D in the environment, safety, and information technology fields, is conscious of the fact that it may be behind competitors in North America and Europe when it comes to the establishment of standardisations, and partnership with other companies.
According to Osamu Suzuki, chairman of Suzuki Motor Corp, “Toyota is the industry-leading and the most reliable company which is actively working on various advanced and future technologies. I am appreciative that Suzuki is able to start discussions with Toyota to explore ideas on a partnership. I first spoke about this possibility with Toyota’s honorary chairman Shoichiro Toyoda, and am very grateful that president Akio Toyoda has also showed an interest. We will proceed with discussions for the future of Suzuki.”
Toyota and Suzuki have begun exploring opportunities for collaboration, with the conviction that it will help both companies solve their respective challenges. Toyota and Suzuki will also be open to other companies regarding this collaboration idea, and aim towards standardisation in the industry.
“As the environment which surrounds the automobile industry has been changing drastically, we need to have the ability to respond to changes in order to survive. In addition to the R&D which each company is working on individually, it is very important now to have partners who share the same goal and passion. We would like to always keep doors open for new partnership opportunities, which will contribute to the making of ever-better cars as well as to the development of the automotive industry,” commented Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota.
The announcement by both auto majors comes over a year after the six-year-long partnership between Volkswagen and Suzuki ended in a bitter legal battle resulting in the two companies parting ways far earlier than the deal set out, and Suzuki buying a 20% stake back from Volkswagen.
If the new partnership between the two Japanese OEMs goes through, the companies will join other Japanese carmakers which have also entered into strategic alliances such as Nissan, which recently announced the purchase of a controlling stake in Mitsubishi Motors, and Toyota, which acquired Daihatsu earlier this year.
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