Toyota has joined hands with many companies or rather many companies having eyed Toyota’s rich wealth of R&D knowledge have joined in partnerships with them. Remember the Aston Martin partnership which yielded the Cygnet. Well it wasn’t a partnership per se but seeing a rebadged Aston Martin made over Toyota IQ is funny, imagine if it would have been James Bond’s ride in one of the movies, Greenpeace would have really loved them. Also it’s easier on the eye to see a Cygnet being destroyed than a beautiful Aston Martin DB11.
Aaah the Aston Martin Cygnus…
Another more appealing partnership was with Subaru to make the ToyoBaru GT86, a petrol head’s wet dream (okay it’s my wet dream to own one and drift it about like Clarkson did, not while reading a book though) might not be a sales wonder, but is a well respected car.
President of Toyota Motor Akio Toyoda (L) shakes hands with Chairman of Suzuki Motor Osamu Suzuki (R).
The latest manufacturer to join hands with Toyota is Suzuki. Is this the impending doom of Maruti’s dominance in India, with Toyota using the knowledge of Maruti engineers and make ingeniously reliable small cars? No, the second part of it is true though as Toyota want to learn from the little guy Suzuki and especially Maruti, on how to create low cost compact cars for developing markets and also learn Maruti’s supply chain network which has been successful from 1980 onwards.
Maruti Suzuki’s dominance wasn’t about coming in first, though it was an advantage. Maruti was able to give the Indian motorists what it wanted from a car and was able to gauge the demand of the Indian quite accurately throughout its existence so far, which made it stand ahead of the crowd of other manufacturers who followed.
It’s a win win for both, just look at their faces of happiness!
So what will Maruti and Suzuki gain? They will be able to dip their hands into Toyota’s piggy bank or rather banks of vast R&D resources and use it in its coming cars. India might not be there yet but hybrids have ruled the roost around the world and now even hypercars are turning the power assisted gasoline way. Maruti have already sold a lakh of SHVS light hybrid models in India through the Ciaz and Ertiga, so there is a potential for such cars here. And Toyota have a wealth of experience in this sector, the Prius might be the more famous name, there is also the Camry Hybrid which is launched here as well. The addition of these new technologies will aid in Suzuki’s global expansion as well.
The two automakers will also form an alliance where green vehicles, safety and information technology and supply of products and components are concerned.
Toyota which has an R&D budget of close to 6.3 billion dollars (which is ironically more than the total value of Suzuki) has also done extensive research into alternate propulsion systems like hydrogen and also driver less cars. So in the long run, Suzuki and Maruti have access to these technologies and bring them to cars in India, albeit in a more affordable way which is what Toyota wants to learn. So a win win for both.
A parting shot of the Cygnus
Also by tapping into the volume rich compact segments, Toyota will also meet the strict CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) numbers in the future which is calculated based on the total number of cars produced in one year. So if we are lucky we might see an Aston Martin version of Toyota’s version of Maruti’s Swift with that front grille to boot!
Too lazy to type anything, so re quoting from the best F1 driver in the world:
“On a given day, a given circumstance, you think you have a limit. And you then go for this limit and you touch this limit, and you think, 'Okay, this is the limit'. And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high.”
― Ayrton Senna