BMW and Toyota expanding cooperation: fuel cells, sports car, powertrain electrification and lightweight technologies
Expanding their existing cooperation agreement signed in December 2011 (earlier post), Toyota Motor Corporation and the BMW Group 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. (Earlier post.)
Akio Toyoda, President of Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), met with Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, at BMW Group headquarters in Munich for the signing. They also signed a Joint Statement to reconfirm their companies’ shared intention to strengthen the long-term, strategic collaboration between them.
Individual mobility is—and will remain—a fundamental need. To many of us, life without a vehicle seems unthinkable. However, the mobility of tomorrow will be different from what it is today. Mobility is being impacted by many mega trends across the world, including changing customer preferences, urbanization, scarce resources, and increasing regulation. Global megatrends are creating a variety of new and different challenges.
Mobility and its industrialization are in the midst of a technological shift. At the BMW Group, we refer to this as “iconic change”. I believe this is the most decisive moment our industry has ever faced. We have seen similar developments in other industries: The shift from the typewriter to the laptop to iPad. The shift from analogue to digital photography.
Both companies, Toyota and the BMW Group, are highly-successful key players in the global automotive industry today. Both are innovation leaders and the most sustainable car companies in their segment. Toyota Motor Corporation helped hybrid technology achieve its global breakthrough. The BMW Group is a pioneer in state-of-the-art engine technology as well as creating and managing emotional brands.
One thing is certain: We aim to shape this iconic change as pioneers and a driving force. And we 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.—Norbert Reithofer
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.—Akio Toyoda
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. (Earlier post.) In addition, the BMW Group and Toyota Motor Europe entered into a contract under which the BMW Group will supply 1.6 liter and 2.0 litre diesel engines to Toyota Motor Europe, starting in 2014.