Suzuki Motor Corp and Toyota Motor Corp on Monday said that they are looking forward to collaborate in R&D and parts supplies in an effort to aid their expansion in the emerging markets. The two Japanese automakers said in a joint statement that “Toyota and Suzuki have agreed to work toward the early realization of a business partnership.”
The collaboration could help Suzuki in accessing Toyota’s innovations in artificial intelligence, low-emission vehicles and automated driving, while Toyota could also take advantage from a supply chain that has enabled Suzuki to dominate India’s huge auto market.
The partnership comes nearly four months after Suzuki said it was struggling to keep up with R&D in a market simultaneously exploring self-driving cars and non-petrol engines.
Few experts have questioned if the latest deal could see Suzuki, Japan’s fourth-biggest automaker, compromise its dominance in India. Managing director at CLSA, Chris Richter said “(Suzuki) needs access to technology, but would that mean giving up being an independent company?’’
‘’I think that’s a price too high for Suzuki at the moment,” Richter added.
The news was first reported by Nikkei business daily last week that Suzuki and Toyota are nearing a technology development agreement and that they could announce the partnership as soon as Monday.