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Hino, VW partner on hybrids, autonomous drive technology

2018-04-12 14:05

Image: AFP / Ivan Couronne

Tokyo - Hino Motors, Toyota's group truck manufacturer, and Volkswagen agreed Thursday to work together in a partnership on technologies like hybrids, electric cars, autonomous driving and connectivity.

Under the deal, each company will maintain independence, but executive teams will work together to map out cooperation on innovating technology and leveraging market positions.

The arrival of the digital age and robotics in the auto industry is pressuring automakers around the world to deliver to customers vehicles that connect to the net or avoid crashes automatically.

Push to develop cleaner powertrains

Partnerships can save costs and boost competitiveness. Automakers are also trying to respond to a global push to reduce global warming and pollution by developing cleaner powertrains.

The deal brings together two major players in trucks and buses, a sector that some analysts say can benefit the most from such new technology.

Hino Motors President and Chief Executive Yoshio Shimo said the deal came together because the companies respected each other and shared goals.

"It will also be a strong tie-up at times of new challenges in the field of transportation due to the rapid growth of e-commerce," he said.

'Excellent fit'

Consumers in Japan and other rapidly aging countries are looking for new transportation options, he said.

Andreas Renschler, a board member at Volkswagen AG and CEO of Volkswagen Truck & Bus, said the deal was strategic for his company because Hino was strong in Asia.

He shook hands with Shimo before reporters in Tokyo.

"It is an excellent fit in terms of regional footprints and products, but also concerning common ideas on how to shape the future of transportation together," Renschler said. 

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