The BMW Group and Toyota Motor Corp. have signed an initial agreement to jointly develop a sports car and cooperate in fuel cell technology, powertrain electrification and lightweight technologies. The initial agreement, signed by BMW chief executive Norbert Reithofer and Toyota president Akio Toyoda at BMW's Munich headquarters, aims to expand the long-term strategic collaboration between the two carmakers.
In a statement, Reithofer said that both Toyota the BMW Group have the same strategic vision of sustainable individual future mobility. He added that the agreement will allow the companies to grab an opportunity to continue leading the auto industry. In the same statement, Toyoda expressed excitement on the resulting cars that would typify Toyota’s strength in environment-friendly hybrids and fuel cells and BMW's prowess in developing sports cars.
Toyota has an existing agreement with BMW, signed in March 2012, to jointly research lithium-ion battery in return for a continuous inflow of BMW-made diesel engines starting in 2014. The recently signed initial agreement calls for the joint development of a fuel cell system and of architecture and components for a future sports vehicle. It also entails cooperation on powertrain electrification and joint research and development on lightweight technologies.