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BMW and Toyota in long-term research collaboration

02 December, 2011

BMW Group (BMW) and Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) concerning a mid-to-long-term collaboration on next-generation environment-friendly technologies.

Under the MOU, the two companies agreed on a collaborative research in the field of next-generation lithium-ion battery technologies. Furthermore, they have agreed to identify and discuss other possible collaborative projects.

In addition, Toyota Motor Europe (TME), TMC's European subsidiary, and BMW have entered into a contract under which BMW is to supply 1.6 litre and 2.0 litre diesel engines to TME starting in 2014.

The engines will be installed in certain Toyota-produced vehicles planned for sale in the European market. Through this agreement, Toyota plans to expand its European line-up and sales of fuel-efficient, low CO2-emission diesel-powered vehicles.

Marking the announcement, Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, said: "Toyota is the leading provider of environment-friendly series technology in the volume segment and the BMW Group is the most innovative and sustainable manufacturer of premium automobiles.

"We are now joining forces to further develop environment-friendly technologies and to expand our innovation leadership in each of our segments. Supplying Toyota with our fuel efficient and dynamic diesel engines represents another important step in the planned expansion of our sales activities for engines and powertrain system."

Representing TMC, President Akio Toyoda said: "It is a great joy and a thrill to enter into this mid-to-long-term collaborative relationship with BMW, a company with its own culture and history from its many years of car manufacturing in Europe, and a company that makes cars that are fun to drive.

"In the spirit of contributing to furthering the development of the auto industry and society, both companies will bring their wide-ranging knowledge—starting with that concerning environmental technologies—to the table and make ever-better cars."

Dr Ian Robertson, a Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Sales and Marketing, said the agreement between the two companies marked a milestone for future collaborations.

"The idea of opening new business channels by supplying our engines to other car companies was announced back in the autumn of 2007," Dr Robertson said.

"As we see it, both companies set the benchmark in complementary fields. Toyota has a wealth of experience to offer when it comes to battery technology.

"And the BMW Group has long been at the forefront developing some of the most technologically advanced clean diesel engines available.

Our diesel engines offer customers a combination they truly value; more performance, with lower fuel consumption, and the lowest level of emissions."

According to Dr Robertson, it is precisely because of hybrids, electric vehicles, and clean diesel that the continued development in innovative powertrain technologies is so vital.

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