BMW's CEO is in favor of strengthening its ties with Toyota.
It was 2013 when BMW and Toyota first announced they would be entering into a technical partnership, but today, in 2020, things are just getting started; according to Reuters, BMW CEO Oliver Zipse is in favor of not only keeping the partnership alive past 2025, but of developing an even stronger relationship.
"In the next decades, we would do well to strengthen bonds," Zipse said at the Automobilwoche Kongress last week.
So far, the partnership has resulted in a new BMW Z4 convertible and Toyota Supra sports coupe, which share the same platform and powertrains. That sort of cost-sharing is becoming more common in the industry, as evinced by cars like the Subaru BRZ/Toyota 86 and the Mazda MX-5 Miata/Fiat 124 Spider.
The partnership also encompasses hydrogen fuel cell propulsion - a technology that Toyota is intimately familiar with, having made one of the first mass-produced fuel-cell vehicles on the market, the Toyota Mirai. BMW showed off its own i Hydrogen NEXT crossover concept at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, but the automaker isn't aiming to have a series-production hydrogen vehicle on the market until 2025 or later.
At Automobilwoche Kongress, BMW's CEO also suggested that fuel cell vehicles would benefit greatly if policymakers around the world were to begin pushing for more hydrogen production.
But as BMW and other automakers shift toward alternative propulsion systems, and numerous countries enact policies to curb greenhouse gas emissions, there could be fewer resources left for enthusiast products like sports cars. Zipse didn't beat around the bush addressing that last week, acknowledging that BMW is looking at how to best control costs by paring back its portfolio before issuing this ominous statement:
"Coupés, convertibles and roadsters, we will see what will be left."
That seems to suggest that cars like the Z4 could conceivably find themselves on the chopping block in the future, Toyota partnership or no.