Following the announcement of a cooperation between BMW Group and Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) last December, the two companies have announced new plans to expand that agreement to comprise specific automotive matters. This was announced after Akio Toyota, President of TMC met with Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG in Munich.
An MOU was signed aimed at a 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.
The two industry chiefs also signed a Joint Statement to reconfirm their companies’ shared ambition to reinforce the long term strategic association between them. This new development is not the first after the 2011 December BMW-Toyota statement either – in March this year, the two companies agreed to do joint research in the field of next-generation of lithium-ion batteries. The original agreement last year stated that the German company will supply their highly efficient 1.6 litre ad 2.0 litre diesels engines to Toyota Motor Europe starting 2014.
In a speech during the signing of this most recent event, Norbert Reithofer said, “We aim to shape this iconic change as pioneers and a driving force. And we (BMW and Toyota) will do so in a responsible and sustainable manner. Together, we have a great opportunity to continue leading our industry through this transformation. That is why we are pooling our expertise.”
He also added, “For the BMW Group, strategic partnerships are an essential part of our Strategy Number ONE. It is one way of securing long-term access to customers and technologies. Three main conditions have to be met in all of our partnerships: First: They have to be based on mutual trust and commitment; Second: They must create a win-win situation; Third: The premium character and independence of our BMW Group brands must be protected. Our cooperation with Toyota Motor Corporation meets all three criteria.”
Toyoda further said “BMW and Toyota both want to make ever-better cars. We respect each other. That is why we already can take the next step together.” He went on to say: “Toyota is strong in environment-friendly hybrids and fuel cells… I believe BMW’s strength is developing sports cars. I get so excited thinking about the cars that will result from this relationship.”