Toyota and Suzuki have announced an agreement to “begin considering concrete collaboration in new fields”, including Suzuki supplying certain India-built models to Toyota to sell in Africa.
The announcement is the latest in a string of joint announcements that kicked off when the two Japanese automakers signed a memorandum of understanding back in February 2017.
This latest agreement is intended to bring together “Toyota's strength in electrification technologies and Suzuki's strength in technologies for compact vehicles”, sparking growth in new fields, including joint collaboration in production.
Intended areas of collaboration include the “OEM supply of two compact vehicles (in this case, the Ciaz and Ertiga) built on Suzuki platforms to Toyota in India”. In addition, Toyota hopes to “adopt newly developed Suzuki engines for compact vehicles," to be manufactured at Toyota’s facility in Poland.
Perhaps most interesting for our market, however, is the intention for “OEM supply of Suzuki's India-produced vehicles (Baleno, Vitara Brezza, Ciaz and Ertiga) to Toyota, targeting the African market”. Of course, it's not yet clear what the brands have planned for South Africa in particular.
The two firms furthermore plan to jointly develop a new C-segment MPV (for India), while production of Suzuki’s Vitara Brezza is planned to start at Toyota’s Indian plant from 2022.
In addition, Toyota says it will supply its hybrid system to Suzuki for use globally, along with two new electrified vehicles (the RAV4 and Corolla Wagon) built on Toyota platforms, for Europe.
The statement added Toyota and Suzuki continued to “fairly and freely compete against each other”, but would “consider further collaboration to realise a sustainable future mobility society while respecting all applicable laws”.