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Two major auto companies – Toyota Motor Corp. and BMW AG – do not have to worry about becoming green with envy over one another’s efforts to improve the earth, as they are going green together in an effort to protect the planet and boost their own market shares globally.
BMW AG and Toyota Motor Corp. recently have agreed to collaborate on research regarding lithium-ion batteries, which are used in electric cars. In addition, BMW AG will provide 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter diesel engines to Toyota in Europe in 2014, which benefits Toyota because this Japanese company has not been able to expand its business in Europe. At the same time, BMW AG benefits from Toyota’s industry expertise through this partnership.
“It is interesting to see what can be achieved when Japanese engineering meets European engineering and when the cooperation really works,” Toyota Motor Corp. Europe CEO/President Didier Leroy said.
The reason for BMW AG’s and Toyota’ Motor Corp.’s joining of efforts is threefold: Double the efforts means double the results as auto companies strive to reduce their ecological footprints. Also, the costs of achieving fuel-economy and emissions benchmarks are increasing, so collaboration eases the financial burden of achieving these green goals by accelerating the pace of research initiatives, thus saving on expenses. In addition, customers want different powertrains in various areas of the world, and the joining together of these vehicle companies makes meeting these demands more possible.
Partnerships such as that of Toyota Motor Corp. and BMW AG are critical because only 2 percent of car sales throughout the world involve hybrid vehicles – vehicles that use a combination of gasoline and electricity to operate. Today’s increasingly strict global green vehicle standards are requiring the production of more of these types of vehicles.
Another previously attempted Japanese-German partnership between Suzuki Motor Corp. and Volkswagen AG failed because experts from these two different cultures simply could not get along. Still, a pairing between Daimler AG and Nissan Motor Corp. has been developed. Toyota Motor Corp. and BMW AG officials are expecting their recent pairing to be positive as well.
“Fundamentally, we are both engineering companies, so in many aspects we have found we speak the same language,” Leroy said.
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