Toyota, Japan’s top automaker, is adding two companies specializing in tiny “kei” cars to a partnership in commercial vehicles it has set up with Hino and Isuzu earlier this year. The partnership includes Daihatsu and Suzuki.
Toyota Focusing on Being More Ecological and Sustainable
In announcing the deal this week, Toyota Motor Corp. Chief Executive Akio Toyoda said it will, in fact, increase its efforts to become more ecological and sustainable. That is because kei cars do make up about 40% of the Japanese auto market.
The fuel-efficient kei cars, are defining by their small size and maximum 0.66 liter engine size. They are, in fact, popular with farmers, deliveries, and retailers. Moreover, their tiny size is a plus for maneuvering through Japan’s tiny roads. Plus fitting into small parking spaces.
“Moreover, we want to deliver better lives for people,” Toyoda said. “The Kei cars make for a practical and sustainable lifeline for Japan.”
Commercial Japan Partnership
Commercial Japan Partnership, was announced, in March, Toyota, Isuzu Motors, and Hino Motors are working together in electric, hydrogen, connected, and autonomous technologies. 80 percent of the Japanese truck market is controlling by these three automakers.
Developing Electric Models Together
Strengthening the partnership is the addition of Daihatsu and Suzuki. Moreover, the manufacturers may work together in developing electric models together, the companies said.
Toyota: Stake in Joint Venture
Suzuki and Daihatsu, under the latest deal, will each acquire a 10% stake in the Commercial Japan Partnership Technologies Corp. joint venture.
It is capitalized at 10 million yen ($91,000). Moreover, it will be 60% owned by Toyota. Then 10% each by Isuzu, Hino, Suzuki, and Daihatsu, by the end of July.
Collaboration is Key
In fact, Toyoda did acknowledge that the companies are, in fact, rivals. Yet, they need to collaborate to benefit customers. In fact, working together can help automakers, for example, cut costs and boost their efficiency. Also, Kei models hold the potential for other parts of Asia, such as India, where Suzuki is a major player.
Moreover, Toyota and Suzuki have had a partnership in small cars since 2016. That is when they entered a capital tie-up in 2019.