Suzuki and Toyota partnership may include capital tie-ups, technology sharing, R and D distribution, electric vehicle inputs, etc
Toyota, a global auto industry leader, and Suzuki, the largest car maker in India in alliance with Maruti, have announced on Wednesday that both the Japanese companies are considering partnership in terms of research, development and future technologies. It has also been rumoured that the key synergy will play a big role in the Indian market.
Maruti Suzuki India Limited is the leading car maker in the domestic scenes with market share of nearly 50 percent and it’s the only country where Suzuki has an upper-hand over Toyota. In collaboration with Kirloskar, Toyota’s presence in India only accounts to a tenth of what Maruti-Suzuki alliance manages.
Toyota’s local sales is driven by the recently launched Innova Crysta premium MPV while the facelifted Etios twins are expected to make a considerable mark as well. Toyota should be focusing on the small car division if it aims at volume sales numbers and that could happen in the near future courtesy of Daihatsu following the entry of the Lexus luxury sub-brand.
It is clear that the firm has been concentrating on bringing hybrid models to India through Lexus but to appeal for more conventional buyers there should be a breakthrough keeping in mind the affordability and electric range of the EVs. According to a report from Livemint, developing a low-cost hybrid technology for India will make for a significant part in the global synergy between Toyota and Suzuki.
In global perspective a merger would bring Suzuki into the frame of the much larger Toyota that has single goal of beating Volkswagen at the top. Suzuki specializes in small cars and has good market share in developing countries but it would benefit from Toyota’s scale and resources considering the technologies it develop alongside self-driving cars and EVs.
It is rather unusual to have two top figures – Suzuki’s chairman, Osamu Suzuki and Akio Toyoda, Toyota’s president and chief executive – publicly giving a joint press conference. It implies to a near confirm deal that would include possible capital tie-ups.
General Motors owned part of Suzuki for nearly three decades before the global financial crisis in 2008. The following year VW bought 20 percent stakes in Suzuki but as the Germans decided to buy small engines from Fiat, legal actions prompted as Suzuki believed it violated the partnership. Toyota is never known for big brand acquisitions but it owns Daihatsu and has partnered with Subaru.