Toyota Motor Corporation and Subaru Corporation have announced that the two will jointly develop a new platform for all-electric midsize and large passenger vehicles. The two will also collaborate on a new C-segment all-electric SUV that will be sold under both brands. The two manufacturers will bring together their expertise in different fields under this collaboration – Toyota has experience in vehicle electrification technologies and Subaru brings its expertise on all-wheel-drive tech to the table.
A business collaboration between Toyota and Subaru in 2005 has seen cooperation between the two in various fields that include development, production, and sales. This collaboration led to the launch of the jointly developed rear-wheel-drive Toyota 86, Subaru BRZ in 2012 and Subaru’s Crosstek Hybrid original plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (HEV).
“Subaru and Toyota believe that it is necessary to pursue a business model that goes beyond convention, crossing over industrial boundaries,” the automakers said.
Toyota is looking to partnerships with rival automakers and tech firms to reduce its capital outlay for developing these new technologies. In April, it announced it would supply other automakers with its hybrid technology, an area it has led since it pioneered the Prius in 1997.
While the Japanese automaker has led in technologies for hybrid and fuel cell vehicles, it has trailed behind rivals such as Nissan Motor Co Ltd, Volkswagen AG and Tesla Inc in bringing fully electric vehicles to showrooms.
As the smallest of Japan’s major automakers, Subaru is struggling to independently invest in and develop lower-emission vehicles and on-demand transportation services widely seen as necessary to survive technological upheaval in the global auto industry.
It is also struggling with a spate of recent production- and quality-related issues, the side effects of rapid growth to keep up with booming for its Legacy sedans and Forester SUV crossovers in the United States, its biggest market.
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