Toyota's Latest Partner Is NOT Who You'd Expect

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Could the US be getting a certain small off-roader?

To build the 2020 GR Supra, Toyota teamed up with BMW to split the development costs. Toyota has even said it would like to work with Porsche to develop a new mid-engined sports car, though it is unknown how serious this statement was meant to be.

It may not be a blockbuster deal resulting in a new sports car, but Toyota has just announced an extension of its partnership with fellow Japanese automaker, Suzuki. The two companies began talks on a partnership back in 2016 and even though Suzuki no longer sells cars in the United States, this could be beneficial for all involved.

Suzuki
Suzuki

Toyota and Suzuki will form a capital alliance, meaning each company will purchase some of the other's shares. Toyota will purchase 24,000,000 shares of common stock in Suzuki (4.94% ownership) worth JPY 96 billion (around $907 million) and Suzuki will invest around $454 million in Toyota shares. The difference in investment reflects Toyota's inflated value over Suzuki.

"On March 20 of this year, the companies announced that they would begin specific considerations in order to engage in joint product development and collaboration in production, in addition to promoting the mutual supply of products, by bringing together Toyota's strength in electrification technologies and Suzuki's strength in technologies for compact vehicles," Toyota said in a statement.

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Jonny Badgood via Toyota
Toyota
Toyota

The partnership will focus on "promoting collaboration in new fields, including the field of autonomous driving." We likely won't see the ramifications of the deal reach the US but the collaboration does include Toyota building rebadged vehicles for Suzuki based on the RAV4 Hybrid and Corolla for the European market. It may just be wishful thinking, but perhaps the deal could also open the door for Suzuki to bring the Jimny - which has garnered a cult following - to the US market.

Suzuki
Suzuki
Suzuki

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