BMW & Toyota Extend Strategic Partnership


Toyoda & Norbert

Earlier today, Toyota & BMW signed an extended partnership agreement that builds on their initial agreement from last year:

The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) aimed at a long-term strategic collaboration in four fields: 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.

To recap the previous agreement:

In March 2012, the BMW Group and TMC signed a binding agreement on collaborative research in the field of next-generation lithium-ion battery cells. In addition, the BMW Group and Toyota Motor Europe entered into a contract in December last year, under which the BMW Group will supply highly efficient 1.6 litre and 2.0 litre diesel engines to Toyota Motor Europe starting in 2014.

How this extended partnership will affect Lexus is pure guesswork, but it stands to reason that Lexus engineers will have access to the technologies and platforms that are developed, including this “future sports vehicle” that’s mentioned.

For more coverage on this partnership, I recommend:

The Partnership press release

Video from the announcement

Text from TMC President Akio Toyoda’s speech

Text from BMW AG Chairman Dr. Norbert Reithofer speech

Micheline Maynard’s insightful article on Jalopnik

Comments


  • BlackDynamiteNY

    It’s safe to assume with the LFA built and selling out, the FRS on the market, the Lexus LF-LC, and the Toyota Supra, should come out of this agreement by 2015.

    The LF-LC could be built off the Lexus IS platform, or a BMW platform……
    BD

  • http://twitter.com/CruxFiveTen Crux

    OMG… *tears* my two favorite company in the whole wide world working together to bring “Perfection”. Standing ovation *claps*

    I cannot wait for the products they come up with.

    BMW, Toyota for life!!! 

  • Annoinashell2000

    damn put some of that tech in the next gen ISF

  • http://twitter.com/CruxFiveTen Crux

    From the press conference these two companies really are pulling for each other. They really seem to like one another and it shows. Both CEO’s mentioned that the two companies are run by passionate engineers. And they have the freedom to be innovative unlike all the other board-run crappy car companies.

    With that said, I highly doubt the next gen IS or IS F will get any of the benefits from the partnership. 3 series competes directly with IS, but who knows right?!

    I see the fruit of the labor between these two awesome companies to show up first on Toyota’s & Minis. 

    Imagine for a sec a Supra engineered by these two… *mind-blown!*

    Mini’s with Prius tech. 

    Ok, carry on.

  • AstonMartin

    I believe the partnership will yield a small convertible first (Z4 Zagato, Z2 or even revamped Z8).  Keep in mind the model that’s brought forth will benefit both companies and is likely 3 yrs out in development time which would rule out the IS – still hope for a ISf but it competes against the M3/M4 so unlikely.  Next possibility would me the LfLC/Supra but the wait would be so much longer than expected and I don’t see where BMW would gain a model in that category except for their iModels.  Nevertheless, I love the partnership and I’m convinced these two will make magic happen together.  Food for thought:  BMW+Toyota, Mercedes+Nissan, Guess Who+ Honda

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/WGWI3V455RIPSWLRMDXILQNT2E Walter

    Toyota is the brain of the auto industry. the only company that gonna gain from this is BMW, Toyota is the old dog here. No i don’t like this partnership. With the lexus LFA, lexus have shown and proved there is nothing they can’t do themselves. Toyota don’t need help from BMW to develop sport cars, they know how to do it themselves and they most definetly don’t need those diseal engines. The 3 German brands are very prideful brands, they will never admit they want or need some of that toyota technology. Notice toyota is admiting they need BMW deseals, but the truth it BMW that needs toyota then toyota needs them.   

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/WGWI3V455RIPSWLRMDXILQNT2E Walter

    I’m totaly okay with toyota partning with the smaller brands ie. Subaru,Citron etc. BMW MERC are the biggest toyota/lexus enemies. The media is always on the side of these German brands so whatever they take from toyota/lexus, they get praises all around and media never say they copy lexus. if Lexus copy 1 thing from BMW, the entire world get told about it. Partnership like this is very bad for toyota.   

  • 2008ES

    Walter, I have to agree with both of your posts.  BMW wants access to Lexus’ carbon fiber production (“lightweight technologies”).  What does BMW have that Lexus needs?

  • Jm8

    Walter I agree 100% with you! And the truth is that German business are very objective and heartless bunch..

    The only reason BMW is going on with this is because they know they have all the benefit..

    Toyota will regret this as all of their work done in the last 60yrs or more will be gone.. All the patents etc will be gone which is very bad for a business..

    Toyota and the Japanese need to harden up.. They need to become like the ruthless corporations they used to be from the 60′s to 1990′s

  • Ochiko

    I am reading this article and I just can’t stop asking… Why?! Why?! Why?! Exactly, as Walter says above, I don’t see anything (except from the diesel engines) why would Toyota give so much to BMW with so little in return. OK, I know that Europe is a “diesel continent” but isn’t it too much to give to your biggest rival in return? Anyway, I don’t like diesels anyway, they are too noisy and they will never be a choice of comfort.

    Isn’t Europe Commission (of something) going to be more harsh on diesel engines anyway because of NOx or something?

    All of it just doesn’t make sense to me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ayo-Doc-Shugz-Mkize/770784233 Ayo Doc Shugz Mkize

    Guys i think we missing the point here the focus of this partneship is help each Co.were its got weak spots Toyota not as emotionnal driving and sharp steering as BMW,BMW not as enviromental  freindly as Toyota hybrid drive system. i think there is a win-win relationship for both of them.The ultimate goal here is consumer must reap more benefits and when make a descion to buy from these manufactures it must be wether you like Red and white or Blu and White!!

  • Hyper24

    That could have been the case if this collaboration had come before the LFA. Now with the LFA, ISF and the new GS, it clear that Lexus can make cars with emotions. 

    It is clear that Lexus can achieve anything they put their heart and mind to, so it would have been better if they have continued to ’create awesome’ by themselves. 

    Now if future Lexus models are praised for their sportiness and handling capabilities, people will say it’s because BMW helped them. Arrghhh !

    I only hope Lexus is very selective in what they share with BMW. 

    Anyway, Mr. Toyoda is smart and of course has a vision that we are yet to see, so I am sure Toyota/Lexus will reap some benefits out of this collaboration, but I am not happy as well :(.

  • LexusLVR

    Both of your posts are from a fantasy world. This is the reality.

    The reality is that Toyota needs diesel engines for Europe if they want to be competitive. Current Toyota diesel engines are apparently not very good. Rather than develop new diesels from scratch for a single market where they are in demand (Europe), Toyota is partnering up with a brand known for its motor engineering prowess: BMW. BMW makes great diesel engines. Toyota knows this. It’s logical. Toyota could also have gone to VW AG or Mercedes, who also make excellent diesels.

    It wouldn’t be the first time Toyota has outsourced diesel engines. Back in the ’60s and ’70s the Toyota Land Cruisers in South America used Mercedes-Benz diesel engines for example.

    Toyota’s lead in hybrid technology will on the other hand aid BMW, especially for the North American market. It’ll be interesting to see in what models BMW plans to offer Toyota hybrid technology. The current BMW Hybrids are rather pointless. The X6 Hybrid didn’t offer any performance or fuel economy benefits and the 5er Active Hybrid is in a similar situation. A BMW 535d offers the same performance and better fuel economy and is cheaper than a 5er Active Hybrid.

    Both companies benefit from this partnership. Fact.

  • LexusLVR

    Walter and 2008ES – what can brands like Subaru or Citroen offer Toyota/Lexus?

    Subaru is owned in part by Toyota. Citroen? Citroen produces highly advanced mainstream cars with an emphasis on seductive styling. Toyota and Citroen styling? Wouldn’t work. Citroen is a brand known for innovation and daring styling. It suits them and their brand character. It doesn’t suit Toyota. What Citroen can offer Toyota are good diesel engines (rented a C4 HDi a few months back in France, great car), but so can many other manufacturers. Why doesn’t Toyota outsource diesel engines from Isuzu, the Japanese diesel specialist?

    BMW is a logical choice since they’re a powerhouse in the business and are known for excellent engine design and engineering. Plus, Akio Toyoda wants to introduce a sportier character in the Toyota (Lexus) lineup and obviously believes that BMW is the brand to help them out with that.

    BMW also has their own carbon fiber production facility by the way, but they produce it for their M cars and various racing cars.

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    Set as correct