BMW and Toyota to cooperate on lightweight materials
BMW and Toyota Motor Corp. on June 29 said they will develop a sports car together and cooperate in fuel cell technology, powertrain electrification and lightweight technologies. Toyota is strong in powertrains for electric and hybrid cars while BMW can help Toyota reduce the weight of its cars, making them more fuel efficient. BMW has taken a leading role in carbon fiber, a lightweight, super-strong yet expensive material that so far is mainly in high-end sports cars. BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer and Toyota President Akio Toyoda signed an agreement at BMW’s Munich headquarters to expand long-term strategic collaboration between the two automakers. In March, BMW and Toyota agreed to collaborate with BMW on lithium-ion battery research in exchange for a steady supply of BMW-made diesel engines starting in 2014. The expanded deal signifies a second major transatlantic pact of a German premium carmaker after Mercedes parent Daimler agreed a partnership with Renault-Nissan.