BMW and Toyota will jointly develop a sports car, extend technology ties
MUNICH -- BMW and Toyota Motor Corp. today said they will develop a sports car together and cooperate in fuel-cell technology, powertrain electrification and lightweight technologies.
BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer and Toyota President Akio Toyoda signed an initial agreement at BMW's Munich headquarters to expand long-term strategic collaboration between the two automakers.
"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," Reithofer said in a statement.
Toyoda said in the same statement: "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."
In March, Toyota agreed to collaborate with BMW on lithium-ion battery research in exchange for a steady supply of BMW-made diesel engines starting in 2014.
The companies today said they signed an agreement that allows 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 lightweight technologies.
Toyota is strong in electrified powertrains for electric cars while BMW can help Toyota reduce the weight of its cars, making them more fuel efficient. BMW has taken a leading role in carbon fiber, a lightweight, superstrong yet expensive material that so far is mainly in high-end sports cars.
Toyota will also benefit from BMW's sports-car expertise, an area where the Japanese company has struggled.
BMW and Toyota emphasized that there was no intention of building stakes in each other's businesses. "We are not coming together to become bigger. We are not coming together to form capital ties," Toyoda told reporters.
GM, PSA partnerships
The agreement means BMW will cease further efforts to cooperate with General Motors on fuel cells and with PSA/Peugeot-Citroen on hybrid powertrains.
A BMW spokesman said that there will be no more talks with GM. He said discussions are underway with PSA, which is allied with GM, on dissolving a joint venture on components for hybrid cars.
Reithofer said BMW and PSA would continue to honor an existing project-based partnership to build small four-cylinder gasoline engines for BMW's Mini brand and Peugeot and Citroen smaller models.
Reuters contributed to this story
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