Toyota and Suzuki said in October 2016 that they plan to do a partnership. Both companies said they did this because of the technological challenges and the need to keep up with consolidation in the global auto industry.
Nikkei reported that the two automakers could announce Toyota and Suzuki partnership as soon as Monday. The Toyota and Suzuki partnership is expected to boost the development side, including self-driving technology and advancements in the environmental standards. There are also plans to share sources for parts in Japan and abroad. The Toyota and Suzuki partnership is not a surprise as both Toyota and Suzuki were looking to cooperate with other automakers. Toyota is behind competitors in North America and Europe, while Suzuki wants to keep their company afloat in the rapidly changing automotive market.
What Suzuki brings to the table is a leading position in India. The Maruti Suzuki India LTD unit has dominated the market with inexpensive cars like the Alto and Swift. They will continue to sell cars under their own brand so they can avoid risks related to antitrust laws. Together they control more than 60% of Japan’s market. While in India they are at 47%, 37% in Thailand, and 62% in Indonesia, Reuters reported.
This is not the first time Toyota has partnered with other automakers. They have been business partners with Subaru and Isuzu Motors in the mid-2000s, as well as Mazda Motor and Germany’s BMW most recently. Suzuki is set to raise the number of autos Toyota produces to at least 18 million.
In January, Toyota and Ford Motors launched SmartDeviceLink Consortium that promotes technology to integrate devices such as smartphones with vehicles. Suzuki was also partnered with Volkswagen AG, but due to the daunting financial demands of keeping up with technological advancements, Suzuki decided to break the partnership. Exactly how Toyota can assist Suzuki is unclear, but Toyota has decided to help Suzuki move in a positive direction.