Japanese automotive giant Toyota Motor Corp. (TM: Quote) signed Friday a memorandum of understanding or MoU with German premium car maker Bayerische Motoren Werke AG or BMW (BAMXY.PK,BAMXF.PK,BMW.L) aimed at a long-term strategic collaboration in four technological fields including fuel cells and sports car.
The deal, which will see the expansion of their existing cooperation initiated in December last year, includes joint development of a fuel cell system as well as architecture and components for a future sports vehicle. They also agreed to collaborate on powertrain electrification and joint research and development on lightweight technologies.
An earlier report by Japan's Nikkei had said that BMW would provide its expertise on light car bodies made from carbon fibre to Toyota, as less car weight leads to better fuel efficiency.
Toyota President Akio Toyoda and Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of BMW Board of Management, met today at BMW Group headquarters in Munich to announce the planned expansion.
The companies, which already has tie-up for green car technology and diesel engines, also signed a joint statement to reconfirm their companies' shared intention to strengthen the long-term, strategic collaboration between them.
On Monday, Toyota had said that certain media reports regarding the expansion of their business alliance were not based on any official announcements.
Last December, the German car maker agreed with Toyota to supply highly efficient 1.6 litre and 2.0 litre diesel engines in Europe from 2014. In March, BMW and Toyota agreed on collaborative research in the field of next-generation lithium-ion battery cells.
Latest MoU represents the companies' previous agreement to identify and discuss other possible collaborative projects.
Reithofer said, "We aim to further strengthen our competitive position in sustainable future technologies. Toyota and the BMW Group share the same strategic vision of sustainable individual future mobility."
Toyoda added, "BMW and Toyota both want to make ever-better cars. Toyota is strong in environment-friendly hybrids and fuel cells … I believe BMW's strength is developing sports cars."
In Japan, Toyota shares closed today's trading at 3,190 yen, up 80 yen or 2.57 percent. In the U.S., the shares closed Thursday at $78.04, up $1.76 or 2.31 percent.
On Frankfurt's Xetra, BMW shares are currently trading at 55.92 euros, up 1.76 euros or 3.25 percent.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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