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Toyota, BMW tie-up on future tech

2011-12-01 12:52

GOOD NEIGHBOURS: As the costs of development in the auto industry balloon, tie-ups - such as the one concluded byToyota and BMW - are likely to become more popular.

TOKYO, Japan / FRANKFURT, Germany - Toyota and BMW are to work together on a broad range of advanced environmental car technologies including the joint development of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles.

BMW will also supply 1.6 and two-litre diesel engines to Toyota from 2014 for cars to be sold in Europe and the two have agreed to identify and discuss other possible joint projects.

Toyota said the agreement would allow it to expand its European product ranges.

Toyota Motor Europe president and CEO Didier LeRoy said at a news conference: "We are both engineering companies. In many aspects we speak the same language and it is interesting to see what can be achieved when Japanese engineering meets European engineering when co-operation really works,"

The tie-up does not include equity holdings but comes as automakers face ballooning research and development costs to meet tougher emissions and fuel-economy standards. They must also meet consumers' preferences for vehicle power trains across different regions.

GROWING TREND


The tie-up in diesel technology will be a reversal of Toyota's strategy since it scrapped plans two years ago to develop 1.6 diesel engines with Japanese truckmaker Isuzu, in which it has a six percent stake.

Two and a half years ago, Toyota President Akio Toyoda told his first news conference that the company would shift its focus in Europe to hybrids and away from diesel so as not to get "lost in the crowd" but Toyota has lost market share in Europe, partly due to a dearth of diesel cars, which make up more than half of new vehicle sales in the region.
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