Many a strange automotive alliance has been made with technology swapping at its heart, though rarely is the juxtaposition of the two companies involved as plain as the just-announced alliance of BMW and Toyota. For its part, BMW will share its diesel engine technology, while Toyota will be offering the Bavarians its hybrid tech.
The automotive world is an increasingly competitive and difficult market to navigate. On one side, automakers have to build and sell cars that appeal to a wide range of consumers across many different nations. At the same time, they have to comply with increasingly strict emissions and safety standards, two goals that are often counter intuitive.
Thus you have Toyota, the Harbringer of Beige, partnering with the performance-obsessed Bavarian Motor Works. Everybody knows that Toyota is the world-leader in hybrid technology, and developing such technology is expensive and time consuming. It is Toyota’s trump card, and everybody wants a piece of the action. Ford and Toyota recently announced joint efforts in developing a hybrid pickup truck, and now BMW wants in on the action too.
So what does BMW have to offer? Diesel engines. Very, very good diesel engines, specifically for Toyota of Europe. BMW will give Toyota its 1.6 liter and 2.0 liter diesel engines, in exchange for access to Toyota’s hybrid tech. Additionally, both companies will carry out joint-research in lithium-ion battery technology for the “mid-to-long-term collaboration.”