Toyota is set to invest 96 billion yen (P47 trillion) in Suzuki, the investment equates to about 5 percent state in the company. On the other hand, Suzuki will put about 48 billion yen (P23.7 trillion) of its own money into Toyota. The result is an equity tie-up that will expand their ongoing technology partnership.
These two automakers announced that the alliance on earlier in the week. The team-up is for both companies to work together on self-driving technologies as well as other technologies both companies might benefit from. These technologies will be needed as the automotive industry faces radical changes. The tie-up will also promote future collaborations between the two automotive manufacturers.
Toyota has sold 10.59 million vehicles worldwide in 2018, making it the number three automotive company just behind Germany’s Volkswagen. Volkswagen was able to sell 10.83 million vehicles in that same year. Toyota is also behind the French-Japanese alliance of Renault and Nissan.
The partnership between the two companies has been in the making for a while now. The partnership deal has been in the works since 2016. These two companies have also become increasingly close in recent years. Earlier in 2019, Toyota agreed to share its hybrid tech with Suzuki for global use, especially in India. Over at Suzuki, it supplied Toyota with two rebadged compact vehicles that Toyota would see over in India. Suzuki would also get to use Toyota’s engines for its vehicles over in the European market. In 2018, the two agreed to partner up to help Suzuki develop an ultra-efficient engine.
In dealing with self-driving technology, Toyota has taken a more gradual approach towards bringing it to the market. Back in 2017, the company showed off its Platform 2.1 test mule that the Japanese automaker equipped its Lexus LS with a lot of sensors. The vehicle also had two steering wheels so that the passenger could take control while the system was working in case the system encountered problems.
Toyota plans to put a fleet of autonomous vehicles on Japanese roads by 2020. This is just in time for the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo. As an international event, it would be the best opportunity for the country to show off its tech and what it can do.