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Toyota, BMW Expand Their Alliance

New efforts will include fuel cells, electric powertrains and a future sports car.

by on Jun.29, 2012

Toyota and BMW officials during a news conference announcing their original alliance last December.

Toyota and BMW have confirmed they will substantially expand the nascent partnership they first launched late last year – signing a memorandum of understanding that will cover work in four key areas including high-tech fuel cells as well as the foundational “architecture” of a future sports car.

The two makers had first agreed to a limited alliance last December – echoing steps taken by a number of their key competitors, such as Daimler AG and the Renault-Nissan Alliance.  Those three brands have been rapidly expanding their own partnership in a bid to expand global economies of scale and to bring new technologies to market faster than might otherwise be possible working individually.

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“It is one way of securing long-term access to customers and technologies,” said Toyota Motor Co. President Akio Toyoda, during a news conference at BMW headquarters in Munich.

For his part, Bayerische Motoren Werke CEO Norbert Reithofer emphasized that, “For the BMW Group, strategic partnerships are an essential part of our strategy.”

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Toyota and BMW Discuss Expanded Alliance

Looking at fuel cells, lithium batteries and other projects.

by on Jun.25, 2012

Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda. is soon expected to announce an expanded alliance with BMW.

It’s the era of the automotive alliance and it appears that Toyota and BMW are looking to expand the unlikely partnership they first announced last December.

At that time, BMW announced it would supply diesel engines to the Japanese automaker. Toyota, meanwhile, revealed plans to work with its German counterpart on advanced lithium-ion battery technology.  Now, the German magazine Der Spiegel reports, the two makers will announce a much larger range of ventures that could include hybrid technology, fuel cells and vehicle electronics.

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That’s a significant shift for both companies, BMW and Toyota traditionally preferring to go it alone rather than team up with erstwhile competitors.  But Yoshi Inaba, president and COO of Toyota Motor North America, told TheDetroitBureau.com that a change in strategy was urgently needed because, “No one can handle it all by themselves.”

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