Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota Motor Corporation and Norbert Reithofer, chairman of BMW Group today announced the planned expansion of their existing cooperation initiated in December last year.
The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at a long-term strategic collaboration in four fields, continuing the growing trend for automotive firms to team up to save and share R&D capability.
Toyota and BMW look set to emulate the successful partnership between Renault and Nissan, which was established in March 1999.
The Japanese and German-based car-makers are set to team up on the development of a fuel cell system, architecture and components for a future sports vehicle, collaboration on powertrain electrification and joint research and development on lightweight technologies.
Akio Toyoda stated: “BMW and Toyota both want to make ever-better cars. We respect each other. That is why we already can take the next step together. Toyota is strong in environmentally-friendly hybrids and fuel cells and BMW’s strength is in developing sports cars. I get so excited thinking about the cars that will result from this relationship.”
Mr Reithofer added: “We aim to further strengthen our competitive position in sustainable future technologies. We signed a memorandum of understanding to this effect today.”
Reithofer and Toyoda signed a joint statement to reconfirm their companies’ shared intention to strengthen the long-term, strategic collaboration between them.
Today’s memorandum of understanding represents the companies’ agreement in December last year to identify and discuss other possible collaborative projects.
BMW Group and Toyota Motor Corporation signed a binding agreement on collaborative research in the field of next-generation lithium-ion battery cells in March 2012.
In addition, the two companies entered into a contract in December last year for BMW to supply 1.6 litre and 2.0 litre diesel engines to Toyota Motor Europe starting in 2014.