After years in stand-by, Toyota is ready to expand and the recent investment in research and development, and the newly formed alliances are clear evidences of its intentions.
Toyota has increased the pace in its efforts to gain more visibility in the automotive world, wanting to grow in all segments, after a long period during which the company had to regroup and find its own path. Standing as proofs of this commitment are the recently announced 1-billion-dollar investment in a research institute near Stanford and MIT for artificial intelligence and robotics, the intention to boost its production capacity by adding assembly pants, and the launching of the new Prius as a base platform for upcoming models. Toyota also wants to cut gradually off the internal combustion engines by 2050.
In an interview for Automotive News, Akio Toyoda, the president of Toyota Motor Corp., talked about the new alliances that would help the company to achieve its goals, to bring more “emotion” to its cars. Toyota signed partnerships with BMW and Subaru and also teamed up this year with Mazda. And the reason behind all these connections is evident in this eyes of Toyoda: “What I’m looking for through these alliances is ever-better cars. That’s the only reason I engage in alliances.” But what Toyota is looking for from this strategy? More emotion, in the first place. “Toyota is more advanced in fuel cell technology than BMW. But BMW is much better at motorsports and the emotional content of its vehicles. At this point in time, whoever is ahead can lead the other partner”.
After emotion, comes uniqueness. Mazda never had the power to battle with the giants of automotive industry, therefore it had to bring into the market something new, different from the ordinary models. It had to stand out in the crowd in order to be visible and this particularity is something that Toyota’s president admires: “We have operated so long on a business model of selling large volume to achieve big profits. We always try to position ourselves in a market because the market is there. But Mazda, given its size, will simply be buried if it enters the big market in the same way. Therefore, it tries to make itself stand out with unique products.”
Via Automotive News Europe