In December of 2011, BMW and Toyota signed an agreement to collaborate on lithium-ion battery development, and the deal included a provision where BMW would small-displacement diesel engines for Toyota products sold in Europe. It was brought up at the time that the partnership could expand further, and seven months later, it apparently has: Reuters reports the two companies "have now agreed several projects" in "other fields of cooperation."

The Reuters report, based on an article in Germany's Der Spiegel, said there were no more specifics but that the two company CEOS would make an announcement "in the near future." A story in Germany's Manager magazine went further, however, citing the same Der Spiegel piece and saying that BMW and Toyota would form an alliance around "joint projects in hybrid technology, fuel cells, vehicle electronics" and lightweight technology.

The announcement isn't surprising – BMW's move into the small, lightweight hybrid space with its forthcoming i sub-brand gives it all the reason to save R&D dollars by teaming up with the company considered the world's green auto leader, and the rumored expansion topics could help replace BMW's partnership with Peugeot, on the rocks ever since the French firm tied up with General Motors' Opel division. We'll know more when an official announcement is made.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 11 Comments
      Letstakeawalk
      • 2 Years Ago
      BMW is very interested in getting fuel cells. They're working with both GM and Toyota on them.
      winc06
      • 2 Years Ago
      It is kind of puzzling. I know Toyota frequently goes to Yamaha for engine design and more recently to Subaru, but BMW does that too using Peugeot for the MINI and before that Chrysler. It just seems odd that BMW would end up making small diesel engines for Toyota when they traditionally outsource their own small engines.
        PR
        • 2 Years Ago
        @winc06
        All I can think of is that Toyota might be having a hard time developing diesels to meet the upcoming Euro 6 emissions standards, and might have decided to hedge their bets? It's hard to know.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 2 Years Ago
      Nick, my comment was based upon reading other articles, where they mention that Toyota will be getting access to BMW's CF knowledge and in return will share their fuel cell tech.
      DaveMart
      • 2 Years Ago
      Small scale carbon fibre is a different matter to trying to use it in mass production. The biggest hang up is curing times, which took far too long, metal stamping machines do the parts in seconds, and BMW have managed to get it down to just about acceptable levels.
      Nick
      • 2 Years Ago
      Are we sure Toyota needs BMW's carbon fiber tech that much? Didn't Toyota build its own complex weaving machine for the LF-A supercar?
      Nick
      • 2 Years Ago
      Toyota should tell BMW to take a trip. BMW has been lazy about ev tech, and is now trying to buy it from Toyota..
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Nick
        ?BMW is pretty good on BEVs, with the i3 coming soon. They might want Toyota expertise to help out with the i8 hybrid. They mainly lag in fuel cell tech.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Nick
        Why would Toyota tell BMW to "take a trip" when Toyota wants access to BMW's carbon fiber expertise? And why wouldn't Toyota want a chance to sell even more of its own tech to an eager customer?
      DaveMart
      • 2 Years Ago
      Both BMW and Toyota were contributors to this analysis: http://www.h2euro.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/a_portfolio_of_power_trains_for_europe_a_fact_based__analysis-2.pdf This gives a clear idea of how they see the car market developing. They reckon 80% of ICE cars will be hybrids by 2020, and aim for a 30% increase in efficiency. To do that BMW need access to Toyota's hybrid technology, and Toyota probably to BMW's carbon fibre technology. They both see batteries for small cars, and fuel cells for larger ones. In the first category BMW have put a lot into the technology for the i3, and in the latter they have messed up by focussing for years on burning hydrogen inefficiently in combustion engines.
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @DaveMart
        What idiot downrates the opinions that the company themselves express?