BMW and Toyota ink deal to collaborate on sports car, future technologies

Article by Anita Panait, on June 29, 2012

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.

Making its first move in the European C-Segment, Toyota comes forward with the latest Toyota Auris that is fitted with more equipment as well as offers a better, more active performance.

The latest Auris mirrors Toyota's perseverance to create head-turning, engaging vehicles and builds on a track record of durability, quality and reliability. It has a more elegant and confident design, a top-quality interior, developed driving dynamics and more improvements to the technical capacity of its signature, full hybrid vehicle.

Aerodynamic developments and a decrease in weight and engine improvements have also improved CO2 emissions and fuel consumption across the range, even cutting running costs and the Total Cost of Ownership.

Toyota is the globe's top manufacturer of C-segment cars, with around 39 million vehicles sold in more than 140 countries from the release of the Corolla in the mid-60s. The debut of the Toyota Auris Hybrid in 2010 propelled Toyota to be the first producer to provide an option of three powertrains in the C-class.

Made for European clients, its biggest volume market, the latest Auris will be manufactured at Toyota Motor Manufacturing in the UK together with the Avensis, sealing the brand's promise related to its European production.

Press Release

BMW Group and Toyota Motor Corporation agree to further strengthen collaboration

Akio Toyoda, President of Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), met today with Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, at BMW Group headquarters in Munich to announce the planned expansion of their existing cooperation initiated in December last year. The two companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at long-term strategic collaboration in four fields: joint development of a fuel cell system, joint development of architecture and components for a future sports vehicle, collaboration on powertrain electrification and joint research and development on lightweight technologies.

Also today, Norbert Reithofer and Akio Toyoda of TMC both signed a Joint Statement to reconfirm their companies’ shared intention to strengthen the long-term, strategic collaboration between them.

Reithofer said: “We aim to further strengthen our competitive position in sustainable future technologies. We signed an MoU to this effect today. Toyota and the BMW Group share the same strategic vision of sustainable individual future mobility. Together we have a great opportunity to continue leading our industry through this transformation.”

Toyoda added: “BMW and Toyota both want to make ever-better cars. We respect each other. And I think this is shown by our taking the next step only six months since the signing of our initial agreement. Toyota is strong in environment-friendly hybrids and fuel cells. On the other hand, I believe BMW’s strength is in developing sports cars. I am excited to think of the cars that will result from this relationship.”

In March 2012, the BMW Group and TMC signed a binding agreement on collaborative research in the field of next-generation lithium-ion battery cells. In addition, the BMW Group and Toyota Motor Europe entered into a contract under which the BMW Group will supply highly-efficient 1.6 litre and 2.0 litre diesel engines to Toyota Motor Europe, starting in 2014.

Today’s MoU represents the companies’ agreement in December last year to identify and discuss other possible collaborative projects.

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