Suzuki joins Toyota’s electric vehicle venture, to focus on small electric cars
Days after reports emerged that Japanese carmaker Suzuki Motor Corp is likely to enter the electric vehicle market in India by 2025, the company has entered a joint venture with Toyota Motor to produce EVs. Suzuki, along with Daihatsu, will join the commercial electric vehicle coalition led by Toyota to help the alliance expand its focus from trucks to smaller cars.
Toyota released a statement on Wednesday, confirming some of the details about this agreement. It says that both Suzuki and Daihatsu will own 10 per cent stake in the joint venture, along with other stakeholders like Isuzu Motors. Toyota will keep the majority 60 per cent stake to itself.
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Akio Toyoda, President of Toyota Motor, said, "With Suzuki and Daihatsu joining the project and working together, we'll be able to expand our circle of cooperation to not only cover commercial vehicles but also mini vehicles. With this expansion, I believe that we'll be able to take one step closer to a better mobility society."
As part of the collaboration, Suzuki and Toyota will work towards small cars with advanced safety technologies and cooperate in use of technologies for the electrification for affordable, high-quality small cars.
Suzuki, along with Daihatsu, will offer their expertise in small cars as one of the key challenges of bringing electrification and autonomous technology to such vehicles is keeping costs under control to make them affordable.
The agreement comes at a time when Japanese carmakers are facing tough challenges from rivals, even tech companies, who are venturing into the electric vehicle market.
According to a report recently published in Nikkei Asia, Suzuki Motor will launch its first electric vehicle in India within the next four years. Suzuki's four-wheeler business, which operates in India in partnership with Maruti, is reportedly planning to launch an all-electric compact model for the Indian customers. Though not much detail has been divulged in the report, the electric car is likely to be priced in the range between ₹10 lakh and ₹11 lakh.