BMW and Toyota strengthen collaboration

The companies will co-operate on fuel cells, R&D, electric drive trains and a sports car.

The Toyota president, Akio Toyoda (left), and the BMW CEO, Norbert Reithofer, at a press conference in Munich. Credit: Getty Images

It was a case of goodbye General Motors and hello Toyota, as the German car maker BMW signed an agreement with the Japanese corporation on Friday to further strengthen their long-term strategic collaboration, which was initiated in December 2011. BMW will reportedly end its efforts to pursue co-operation with GM and Peugeot Citroen. 

As part of the arrangement, BMW and Toyota will jointly develop a fuel cell system, collaborate on power train electrification and work together on research and development in lightweight technologies. Motoring enthusiasts have been equally excited by the prospect of an all-new sports car from the two companies.

Norbert Reithofer, chairman of the board of management at BMW, said:

We aim to further strengthen our competitive position in sustainable future technologies. We signed a [memorandum] to this effect today. Toyota and the BMW Group share the same strategic vision of sustainable individual future mobility. Together we have a great opportunity to continue leading our industry through this transformation.

Akio Toyoda, president of TMC, said:

BMW and Toyota both want to make ever-better cars. We respect each other. And I think this is shown by our taking the next step only six months since the signing of our initial agreement. Toyota is strong in environment-friendly hybrids and fuel cells. On the other hand, I believe BMW’s strength is in developing sports cars. I am excited to think of the cars that will result from this relationship.

Earlier in March this year, the companies signed a binding agreement on collaborative research in the field of next-generation lithium ion battery cells.