Toyota Motor Corporation and Subaru Corporation are to jointly develop a platform dedicated to battery electric vehicles (BEVs) for midsize and large passenger vehicles, and to also jointly develop a C-segment-class BEV SUV model for sale under each company's own brand. The two OEMs will leverage their respective strengths, such as Subaru’s all-wheel-drive technologies and Toyota’s vehicle electrification technologies.
Ever since concluding an agreement on business collaboration in 2005, Toyota and Subaru have been deepening their cooperation in various fields, including development, production, and sales. Examples include efforts that led to the start of sales of the jointly developed rear-wheel-drive Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ in 2012 and the start of sales of Subaru's Crosstrek Hybrid original plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) in the United States, to which was applied knowledge related to Toyota's HEV technologies.
The automotive industry is in the midst of a once-in-a-century period of profound transformation. The two Japanese carmakers aim to respond to the new CASE domains of car connectivity, autonomous or assisted driving, new mobility or car-sharing, and electrified powertrains and components. The agreement represents a new area of collaboration that especially focuses on the urgent need to respond to CASE's ‘E’ domain, or electrified powertrains and components.
To respond with a sense of speed to the diversifying needs of these markets and to multiple challenges, both Subaru and Toyota say that it is necessary to pursue a business model that goes beyond convention, crossing over industrial boundaries together with various types of other entities that share their aspirations.
As a first step in this direction, while accelerating productisation by bringing together technologies that represent each company's strengths and cooperating where possible, the two companies will jointly develop a BEV-dedicated platform. The platform will be developed in a way that will make it broadly applicable to multiple vehicle types, including C-segment-class and D-segment-class sedans and SUVs, as well as to efficient development of derivative vehicle models.
The companies also make reference to the need for manufacturers to collaborate given the high costs and supply problems associated with battery production.
Such announcements are becoming increasingly common, with Jaguar Land Rover and BMW recently announcing the first details of a similar scheme, and Toyota itself recently confirming that some of its hybrid models will be sold by Suzuki in parts of Europe.
Subaru has expressed its commitment to the new alliance, claiming to have redirected all of its existing EV research and development resources to the shared platform and SUV.
Also read: Jaguar Land Rover and BMW join forces to develop electrified vehicles