Toyota and BMW Play to Strengths, Form Green Partnership

By Matthew Askari | November 29, 2011
Odd Pairings sometimes work: David Bowie and Bing Crosby; chili and chocolate; a slice of cheddar cheese and apple pie; and the latest murmurs suggesting German automaker BMW is teaming up with Japan's Toyota to work towards a greener lineup. The two produce very good, but vastly different cars that appeal to distinct audiences. Even Toyota's luxury brand, Lexus, seems to attract a different crowd within the same segments as its German rival. It's not unusual for carmakers to cooperate, and in this case, the proposed partnership will involve the sharing of technology each has excelled in. BMW has a special interest in Toyota's Hybrid technology, and its lithium-ion batteries that have been so successfully applied in the Toyota Prius. The Prius is the most recognized hybrid in North America and now in its third generation. Much of its appeal is in its fuel efficiency, with the latest generation delivering an EPA estimated 50 mpg. Toyota has noted that BMW produces more efficient diesel engines than its European rivals, and diesel cars have been flourishing for decades in Europe, a market in which Toyota has experienced some resistance. BMW currently features diesel engines on its 3 Series and X5 models in North America, while the range is much broader in Europe. The two companies would save valuable research and development funds and receive already proven technology and expertise. While not traditional bedfellows, the partnership could be a win-win. Source: Japan Times