The rumours regarding the World’s largest producer of automobiles and one of the most respected in terms of engineering have gone on for some time. There have been whispers at auto shows over the past weeks and months but representatives of both Toyota and BMW refused to comment. Now they finally have.
Green Technology Shared
From the start of December, these two auto giants agreed to share green technology in a move that is expected to go a long way towards the further spread of eco know-how within the automotive industry. So how will this tie-up work in practice?
Prius technology for BMW
Although details still remain vague, the deal will see the two share eco technology across the board. Specifically, this means Toyota will pass on details about the Prius, still considered to be the frontrunner in the hybrid market with its dual cycle engine that has proven immensely popular in North America and Japan. In Europe, however, the Prius has not seen sales as high, as might have been expected. This is where market analysts believe BMW will come in, with its excellent knowledge of, and reputation in, the European car market.
Toyota hope to expand range of eco cars
In a joint statement, Toyota said it hoped to expand its range of fuel-efficient vehicles in Europe, without being more specific. From BMW’s side, it will supply its 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre fuel efficient diesel engines to the Japanese automaker starting from 2014. This will allow Toyota options in terms of diesel options, ones that are already proven in the European market. And from BMW’s point of view it gets a new customer for its diesel engines and a much greater insight into hybrid engines. The two will also collaborate in terms of development of batteries for electric vehicles, a major drain on research and development costs as automakers look to improve the longevity of such systems.
Toyota and Ford develop Hybrid vehicles
This is not the first green tie-up that either company has made with competitors in the industry. As recently as August, Toyota agreed a deal with Ford that the two companies would develop hybrid systems together. And BMW already has a deal in place with Peugeot to work jointly on hybrid-powered systems for compact vehicles. Toyota and BMW will be hoping that their recent alignment does not go the way of that between Volkswagen and Suzuki which looks to be the subject of an arbitration case following major disagreements between the two.
New deal will spread hybrid understanding
Should the new agreement between BMW and Toyota work out, there are obvious areas for some serious collaboration. And in terms of what it means for the electric automotive industry, the repercussions are potentially huge. Toyota, as the biggest car maker in the world and producer of the most successful hybrid system, can offer a lot and drastically increase the spread of hybrid understanding as part of such deals. BMW is a car maker that mostly operates in a whole other segment of the market, the high end, high performance part, one which has been traditionally less resistant to green technology. Hopefully, this new deal will help change that.