Possible Partnership with BMW?

Lexus & BMW Partnership

News has emerged of a potential partnership between BMW and Toyota (and by extension, Lexus), with BMW supplying diesel engines in return for access to Toyota’s hybrid technology — here’s a summary from Automotive News:

The partnership may be announced at the Tokyo auto show this week, Japan’s Nikkei newspaper and Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung said.

Under the proposed agreement, BMW will provide diesel engines, most likely 2.0-liter versions, for Toyota passenger vehicles sold in the European market, the Nikkei said.

The starting date of the project and its scale are yet to be decided, the paper said.

The Sueddeutsche Zeitung said BMW would gain access to Toyota’s hybrid technology through the partnership. Both companies would benefit from huge savings on investment costs, the paper said.

Despite its long-term viability, Lexus’ hybrid-only strategy has been hurting the brand’s growth in Europe, where diesel is the engine choice of over 50% of buyers across the continent — the opportunity to use proven BMW diesel engines would bring an immediate jumpstart for both Toyota & Lexus, although at the expense of sharing its leading-edge hybrid technology.

With both BMW and Toyota officials refusing to comment, this remains nothing but a promising rumor, and may not even be the real story — the word today is that the two companies could instead be discussing a partnership to develop lithium-ion batteries for electric cars.

[Source: Automotive News]