Toyota and Subaru have agreed to develop a joint BEV platform. In addition, the two Japanese manufacturers intend to jointly develop a purely battery-electric SUV model in the C segment that will be sold under both brands.
“Medium and large” passenger cars are to be built on the platform. The cooperation is primarily intended to reduce the costs associated with the development and production of new models.
The C-SUV is intended to combine the strengths of each of the two companies, as stated in a press release – Toyota’s electrification technologies and Subaru’s all-wheel-drive technology. Group-wide cooperation on new technologies has become widespread in the automotive industry. Even for a global corporation like Toyota, the costs of developing battery systems, electric drives or autonomous cars on their own are too high or too great a risk. “Subaru and Toyota believe that it is necessary to pursue a business model that goes beyond the convention and crosses industrial boundaries,” the automakers said.
The new electric project is not the first collaboration between Toyota and Subaru. Since 2005, the two companies have intensified their cooperation in various areas such as development, sales and production. Toyota is also Subaru’s largest shareholder with a 16.77 per cent stake. Probably the most vivid example of this cooperation is the sports cars Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ, which none of the companies would have developed alone as a niche model.
In recent months, Toyota has increasingly tried to enter into partnerships with other car manufacturers or tech companies in order to reduce its own capital investment. In April, the Japanese company announced that it would release around 24,000 patents from its hybrid development. The patents themselves can be used free of charge. However, Toyota requires money for further technical support in the development and sale of electrified vehicles if these manufacturers use Toyota engines, batteries, control units and other components.
Subaru is the smallest of the major Japanese car companies and therefore has a hard time making such high investments in electric cars and other future technologies on its own. However, this is precisely what is considered necessary in order to survive in the future in the technology-driven car market.