Two Japanese automakers, Toyota Motor Corp. and Suzuki Motor Corp., are close to forming a partnership agreement to develop technology for many different functions for future vehicles, including self-driving vehicles. An announcement regarding the partnership could be made as early as Monday, he Nikkei reported on Friday.
Both companies are Japanese automakers. The two companies will still continue to sell their own vehicles under their two separate names to avoid risks related to antitrust laws. According to a report by the business daily, the two companies will collaborate in ways that avoid the antitrust laws.
In October, Toyota and Suzuki announced that the two companies would begin to explore a potential partnership, saying that they need to keep up with the consolidation of technology into the global automobile industry.
The partnership would give Toyota a major presence in places like India. Markets like this are relatively poor markets where Suzuki is already the leading manufacturer. The partnership would also benefit Suzuki by giving them access to Toyota’s scale and resources. These factors would be increasingly beneficial to the market of the technology of self-driving vehicles.
“We are aware that the future is full of risks,” Osamu Suzuki, Suzuki’s chairman, said at a joint news conference back in October, with Akio Toyoda, Toyota’s president and chief executive.
Toyota also mentioned that more things would be discussed in the near future.
“Everything, including the possibility of a capital tie-up, will be discussed going forward,” Mr. Toyoda said in October.
“Toyota is the industry-leading, and the most reliable company which is actively working on various advanced and future technologies,” Mr. Suzuki said back in October.
Mr. Toyoda continued to speak on how change is important to the companies. “We need to have the ability to respond to changes in order to survive,” Mr. Toyoda said.
Mr. Suzuki has also spoken in the past about the importance of alliances, especially emphasizing the benefits for smaller manufacturers.
Suzuki has worked with higher-volume producers previously. At one point, General Motors owned a part of Suzuki. GM owned that part of the company for nearly 30 years, until the automakers near collapse during the financial crisis in 2008.
Following this event, Suzuki turned to Volkswagen as its next partner. In 2009, Volkswagen bought 20 percent stake in Suzuki. However, the alliance between the two companies unraveled after less than two years, when Volkswagen passed over Suzuki to buy small-car engines from Fiat. The deal violated their alliance, according to Suzuki.