Toyota Motor Corp and Suzuki Motor Corp appeared poised to unveil a wide-ranging partnership on Monday that could include the development of new technologies and procurement. Both automakers, which said in October they were exploring a tie-up, said their boards would make a decision on the matter later in the day.
A partnership could offer Suzuki, a maker of affordable minivehicles and compact cars, access to Toyota’s R&D expertise. Japan’s fourth-largest automaker has said it has been struggling to keep pace with the breakneck speed of R&D in the industry. “If you look at their production line-up, there’s little overlap except for compact cars. And Suzuki is already buying hybrid technology from Toyota,” said Fujio Ando, an adviser at Chibagin Asset Management.
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“One question will be how much Toyota will open up to Suzuki given its relations with Daihatsu,” he added, referring to Toyota’s own minivehicle specialist firm.
Toyota, the world’s No. 2 automaker, invests heavily in R&D in areas including automated driving, artificial intelligence and lower-emission cars.
Toyota and Suzuki are set to announce third-quarter earnings on Monday.
Shares in Toyota and Suzuki were roughly flat, in line with the broader Tokyo market.