Suzuki Motor Corporation and Toyota Motor Corporation announced today they are to start exploring ideas for a business partnership.
But it’s been stressed both companies continue to compete with each other. Toyota and Suzuki will also be open to other companies regarding this collaboration idea, and aims for industry standardisation.
A Toyota statement said: “The environment surrounding the automotive industry has been changing rapidly and in an unprecedented fashion.
“As such, the industry is required to work not only on conventional automobile research and development, but also on research and development for advanced and future technologies in fields such as the environment, safety and IT.
“In addition to the work conducted by individual companies, it is increasingly important to work together with other businesses in areas such as infrastructure development and the setting of new industrial standards.”
With its primary focus on mini-vehicles, Suzuki has been consistently refining its technologies in order to develop vehicles that are highly price-competitive. The statement goes on to say that Suzuki is “increasingly feeling a sense of uncertainty in the face of the advanced and future technology R&D field”.
And Toyota, although it has been working on R&D in the environment, safety and information technology, it 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”.
Toyota and Suzuki have just started exploring opportunities for collaboration.
Suzuki chairman Osamu Suzuki said: “Toyota is the industry-leading and the most reliable company 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.”
Toyoda said: “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 always to keep our 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.”
> Picture: Toyota's president Akio Toyoda and Osamu Suzuki, chairman of Suzuki Motor Corporation