Suzuki and Daihatsu have become the latest to join a Toyota-led alliance seeking to advance and accelerate the electrification of commercial vehicles.
The joint venture ‘Commercial Japan Partnership Technologies’ was set up by Toyota, Hino motors and Isuzu in April this year. Apart from commercial vehicles like trucks, it also plans to include Japan’s smallest highway-legal passenger vehicle – the Kei Car – under its banner.
All five companies will cooperate on costly research and collaborate on connected, autonomous, shared and electric vehicles, referred to collectively as CASE technologies.
They plan to share data and technological know-how to promote a more efficient and low-cost logistics system for both trucks and kei cars.
The idea to develop a connected-technology infrastructure that links truck logistics to kei cars, is also in the making.
Many kei cars are used by small and medium-size companies, as well as sole proprietors, which is a major reason automakers want to offer the new technologies cheaply.
Both Suzuki and Daihatsu will each acquire 10% of the joint venture’s shares from Toyota.
After the transaction, Toyota will have a 60% stake in the venture – Commercial Japan Partnership Technologies – while Hino, Isuzu, Suzuki and Daihatsu will hold stakes of 10% each.
Suzuki and Daihatsu are two of the biggest kei car makers. These small, inexpensive cars are so popular in Japan that nearly 40% of vehicles in the country are kei minicars.
Image and content: Kierannotabi/Nikkei Asian Review