Keep Close Attention On Toyota's Possible New Partnership With Suzuki

Technology / 23 Comments

And not just because it's another area where Toyota's seemingly looking to one-up Volkswagen.

Those of you who've been keeping on top of what Suzuki's been up to over the last few years should know of the Japanese company's partnership with Volkswagen - and, more specifically, the drawn out way in which it disintegrated. Being a smaller carmaker, though, Suzuki would be hugely benefited by a collaboration with a larger auto company, so it's perhaps no big surprise to know that Suzuki's now exploring such a possibility with its motor-making monolith of a compatriot, Toyota.

Though officially only in the "exploratory" stages at the moment, this new announcement is quite a crucial one for both firms. For starters, it gives Suzuki access to the fruits of Toyota's considerable research and development labour (according to Bloomberg, Toyota spends more than five times the amount of money that Suzuki does in R&D), which is crucial for any company of Suzuki's size to remain competitive on a technological level. In return, Toyota would be able to utilize Suzuki's expertise in making cost-effective cars, and (in theory) use that as a stepping stone to further campaign for increased parts standardization across the automotive industry.

Crucially, though, this on-paper working relationship isn't Toyota plotting a closet takeover of Suzuki. In the official press statement, both sides explicitly stated they will "continue to compete with each other in a fair and independent manner," and both companies won't rule out the possibility of bringing even more carmakers on board in this partnership. So, while an agreement hasn't been officially reached just yet, this new collaborative effort between Suzuki and Toyota could have a sizeable impact on the motor industry beyond the internal ambitions of both car companies. Fingers crossed this one doesn't go the way of Suzuki's aforementioned partnership with VW.


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