Some industry news out of Japan tells us that Toyota and Suzuki have made their courtship official in the way that multinational corporations do: by taking a stock stake in each other. The two companies announced a technology sharing partnership back in 2016, but it was made formal this week when Toyota paid ¥96 billion ($908 million USD) for a 4.94 percent share in Suzuki.
In return, Suzuki would buy ¥48 billion ($455 million USD) worth of Toyota stock, which ends up being just 0.2 percent of the automaking juggernaut. Ostensibly, the deal will allow the two to collaborate on technology in a rapidly changing automotive landscape. The convergence of electrification, autonomous driving, and ride sharing have created what Toyota President Akio Toyoda has called a “once-in-a-century” transformation of the industry.
For those keeping track, Toyota has been on something of a buying spree, having taken a 16.5 percent stake in Subaru, a 5 percent share of Mazda, 5.9 percent of Isuzu, a controlling stake in Hino, and full ownership of Daihatsu.
It makes sense for Toyota if it doesn’t want to get left behind. The rest of the industry has forming alliances that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago — Ford and VW partnering on electric vehicles, BMW and Mercedes-Benz on autonomous cars.
When Toyota announced its partnership with Suzuki in 2016 we entertained the idea that it could lead to a Japanese Big Three, with Toyota-Daihatsu-Hino-Subaru-Isuzu-Mazda-Suzuki one one side, Nissan-Mitsubishi on the other, and Honda as a David facing down two Goliaths. Now that seems one step closer to reality, and it should prove interesting for Japan’s auto industry in the coming years.
You already predicted this a few times before and I think it’s good for continuity of Suzuki, however it also is one less independent brand…
I love the Abunai Deka screenshot showing the Suzuki (GSR) trying to keep up with Toyota (Carina Van TA67v/KA67v)
“Your tone is quasi-facetious.
You do not realize Toyota was the only car company to survive the Stock Share Wars.
Now all cars are Toyota.”
-Officer Lenina Huxley, Demolition Man
Toyota is countering Volkswagen Group. Makes business sense, since Volkswagen also has a truck unit (MAN), and several sports and luxury brands (Porsche, Lamborghini, Bugatti, Audi, Ducati…)
I wouldn’t worry about Suzuki, Toyota will let Suzuki be Suzuki. Unlike American manufacturers, they’re not going to foist a badge engineered Corolla on the other companies.
Electric cars are cold, clinical and soulless.
Electric cars create about as much passion, romance and inspiration as a toaster.
God help us.
Suzuki and Daihatsu make the same kind of cars and compete for similar markets, but I understand that Suzuki is much more of a global player than Daihatsu. Still, globalization has just been dismal for the auto industry from an enthusiast perspective. When the world had half as many people/consumers as it did now, there was a far more diverse collection of brands, and the kind of cars we are interested in were pumped out at now totally unfathomable numbers.
For those that may not know since Suzuki is no longer active in the US market: Suzuki is a very strong company internationally. Not dying in any way and holding an enviable position in many rising markets. The US can only accommodate so many banal crossover companies and good on Suzuki for not anteing up on the BS NA market and instead focusing on keis and compacts.
Maybe the North American market will see a Suzuki Jimny on Toyota lots as a FJ20