Posted Jun 29th 2012 10:00AM
If you are any other carmaker, this is really not what you want to hear on a Friday morning: The industry's 800-pound gorilla and one of its most profitable brands are joining forces. If you are an enthusiast (or environmentalist), however, the would-be products of this collaboration may have you cheering like a Miami Heat fan.
While details are admittedly scarce, the notion of BMW and Toyota throwing in on a sports car has us tickled, especially considering how well the Japanese giant's liaison with Subaru to produce the BRZ and Scion FR-S has turned out. The other aspects of this just-announced BMW-Toyota agreement – a fuel cell system, powertrain electrification and lightweighting technology – make the project sound even more like the stuff of dreams. The expansive partnership builds on a deal between the two automakers brokered in March to collaborate on next-generation lithium-ion batteries.
Count us among those waiting with bated breath to see whether they come true.
For more details, scroll down to read BMW's official press release.
BMW Group and Toyota Motor Corporation agree to further strengthen collaboration
Companies sign MoU aimed at collaboration in four fields of technology
Tokyo/Munich. 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.