Toy­ota and Suzuki eye part­ner­ship

The Myanmar Times - - International Business -

TOY­OTA and Suzuki are in talks about a part­ner­ship to han­dle “un­prece­dented” changes in the global auto in­dus­try, as Ja­pan’s ve­hi­cle sec­tor sees a wave of con­sol­i­da­tion.

Toy­ota, the world’s big­gest au­tomaker, and small car spe­cial­ist Suzuki did not an­nounce de­tails but sug­gested any part­ner­ship could fo­cus on new safety and en­vi­ron­men­tal tech­nolo­gies.

“The en­vi­ron­ment sur­round­ing the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try has been chang­ing drastically and rapidly in an un­prece­dented fash­ion,” a joint state­ment said.

“As such, the in­dus­try is re­quired to work not only on con­ven­tional au­to­mo­bile R&D [re­search and devel­op­ment], but also on R&D for ad­vanced and fu­ture tech­nolo­gies in the fields in­clud­ing en­vi­ron­ment.”

Toy­ota added that it was trail­ing com­peti­tors in North Amer­ica and Europe in some ar­eas, while Suzuki was strug­gling to forge its own path in the fiercely com­pet­i­tive in­dus­try.

Ja­pan has eight do­mes­tic au­tomak­ers in an in­tensely com­pet­i­tive mar­ket. Suzuki sells about 2.8 mil­lion ve­hi­cles a year glob­ally com­pared with more than 10 mil­lion for Toy­ota.

Nis­san ear­lier an­nounced plans to buy a one-third stake in Mit­subishi Mo­tors – which was em­broiled in a fuel-test­ing scan­dal – forg­ing an al­liance that will chal­lenge some of the world’s big­gest auto groups.

In Jan­uary Toy­ota made its minicar unit Dai­hatsu a wholly owned com­pany in a move that gave it de­fin­i­tive con­trol over a com­pany that has bat­tled with Suzuki in Ja­pan’s do­mes­tic mini-car seg­ment. It also strength­ens its foot­ing in South­east Asia.

Suzuki formed an al­liance with Volk­swa­gen in 2009 after end­ing a part­ner­ship with Gen­eral Mo­tors.

But the tie-up ended in Au­gust last year due to dis­agree­ments over man­age­ment con­trol.

Photo: AFP

Toy­ota Mo­tor pres­i­dent Akio Toy­oda (L) shares a joke with Suzuki Mo­tor chair Osamu Suzuki dur­ing a press con­fer­ence at Toy­ota’s head of­fice in Tokyo on Oc­to­ber 12.

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