BMW and Toyota strengthen collaborative vehicle development efforts
Taking a new significant step towards even greater future co-operative undertakings, BMW AG and Toyota Motor Corporation have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that calls for the two automotive powers to expand their current technical development agreement to involve several new areas. The four key fields outlined in this new MoU include 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 various lightweight technologies. The announcement came at a joint conference in Munich, Germany.
In commenting on the agreement, BMW’s Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Norbert Reithofer, noted: “We aim to further strengthen our competitive position in sustainable future technologies. 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.”
TMC chairman Akio Toyoda followed up by adding: “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.”
This latest development serves to further strengthen the international bonds between the BMW Group and Toyota Motor Corporation. In March 2012, the two signed a binding agreement to collaborate on research in the field of next-generation lithium-ion battery cells. Last December, BMW and Toyota Motor Europe entered into a formal contract that will see the German automaker supply its highly efficient 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter diesel engines to Toyota Motor Europe starting in 2014.