Japanese auto majors Toyota Motor Corp (TMC) and Suzuki Motor Corp (SMC) today announced plans to explore business partnership to strengthen collaboration in fields of environment, safety, and information technology.
Both companies have agreed to start exploring ideas that are directed towards a business partnership, Toyota and Suzuki said in a joint statement.
Toyota and Suzuki just started exploring on any opportunities for collaboration, with the belief that it will help both companies solve their respective challenges, it said.
"This discussion is based on the prerequisite that both companies continue to compete with each other in a fair and independent manner," the statement added.
Through the partnership, the two companies, which have significant interest in India, are looking to address their weaknesses.
With its primary focus on mini vehicles, Suzuki - whose arm Maruti Suzuki is the largest carmaker in India - has been consistently refining its technologies so as to develop vehicles with high price competitiveness.
However, in the face of the advanced and future technology R&D field, Suzuki is increasingly feeling a sense of uncertainty, the statement said.
"On the other hand, although Toyota has been working on R&D in environment, safety, and IT fields, Toyota is conscious of the fact that it may be behind competitors in North America and Europe when it comes to the establishment of standardisations and partnership with other companies," it added.
SMC Chairman Osamu Suzuki said: "I am appreciative that Suzuki is able to start discussions with Toyota to explore ideas on a partnership...We will proceed with discussions for the future of Suzuki."
TMC President Akio Toyoda said as the environment which surrounds the automobile industry has been changing drastically, there is a need to have the ability to respond to changes in order to survive.
"In addition to the R&D, which each company is working on individually, it is very important now to have partners who share the same goal and passion. We would like to always keep our doors open for new partnership opportunities, which will contribute to the making of ever-better cars as well as to the development of the automotive industry," Toyoda said.
Citing drastic changing environment in the automotive sector in a rapid unprecedented fashion, the two firms said the industry is required to work not only on conventional automobile R&D, but also on R&D for advanced and future technologies in environment, safety, and IT fields.
In addition to the R&D that is conducted by individual companies, it is increasingly important to work together with other companies on areas such as infrastructure development, as well as the establishment of new industrial standards, they added.
Toyota and Suzuki will also be open to other companies regarding this collaboration idea, and aim for standardisation in the industry, they added.
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