Toyota and BMW to make ‘ever-better cars’

Toyota has joined forces with BMW to begin work on range projects, including a new sportscar, it has been announced.

Akio Toyoda, President of Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), and Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, have signed a memorandum of understanding on the project, which includes closer ties on developing fuel cell and hybrid engines, as well as lightweight materials.

Mr Reithofer and Mr Toyoda also signed a Joint Statement to reconfirm their companies’ shared intention to strengthen long-term, strategic collaboration between them, an agreement struck in December last year.

Reithofer said: “We aim to further strengthen our competitive position in sustainable future technologies. We signed an MoU to this effect today. Toyota and the BMW Group share the same strategic vision of sustainable individual future mobility. Together we have a great opportunity to continue leading our industry through this transformation.”

Toyoda added: “BMW and Toyota both want to make ever-better cars. We respect each other. That is why we already can take the next step together.” He went on to say: “Toyota is strong in environment-friendly hybrids and fuel cells … I believe BMW’s strength is developing sports cars.  I get so excited thinking about the cars that will result from this relationship.”

In March 2012, the BMW Group and TMC signed a binding agreement on collaborative research in the field of next-generation lithium-ion battery cells. In addition, the BMW Group and Toyota Motor Europe entered into a contract in December last year, under which the BMW Group will supply highly efficient 1.6 litre and 2.0 litre diesel engines to Toyota Motor Europe starting in 2014.

Today’s MoU represents the companies’ agreement in December last year to identify and discuss other possible collaborative projects.

What type of cars would you like to see developed by Toyota and BMW in the future? Could a the ‘future sports vehicle’ be a new hybrid-powered Supra, Celica, MR2 – or something completely new? How will new ‘lightweight technologies’ and ‘powertrain electrification’ be used across the Toyota range, from city cars to family vehicles?

Toyoda-san is in action behind the wheel of a Gazoo Racing Toyota GT86 at this weekend’s Goodwood Festival of Speed – for the latest news from the event, click here.


  1. Hi

    what is the timetable for introducing the new BMW diesel engines into mainstream Toyota car ranges available in UK?

    I am happy to put off purchase of a Mazda 6 diesel tourer (Skyactive) in 2013 if the new Avensis tourer 2014 is BMW diesel powered.

    (Current Avensis diesel owner).


    1. Hi Gerry,
      Currently we have no more information about the other models that’ll receive a Toyota/BMW diesel. We will have more on this come 2013 but no sooner, I’m afraid. Sorry!
      Many thanks.

      1. The new Auris diesel & hybrid is generally coming last in group tests eg against standard diesel Golf & i30 competitors (Auto Express). Why would anyone buy an Auris vs a Golf Mk 7?

        Not an impressive debut for Toyota’s top selling model. Looks like Toyota is only lukewarm about its commitment to the European market. Fancy Toyota, renowned for the quality of their engines, sub-contracting diesel development to BMW!!! Are Toyota sure that the hybrids will ever match the best diesel products. On current rate of improvement of the 2 technologies, the jury is definetley out. Big gamble. The hybrid models are always criticized for their CVT transmission noise & lack of refinement particularly at motorway speeds, again where the diesel has a big advantage (refinement & mpg).

        As a 2004 Avensis diesel owner, it is puzzling to me that a firm with the resources of Toyota cannot excel at diesel engine development and keep the European customers coming. Is Toyota decision making too centralized in Japan, and over influenced by American market criteria?

        Maybe the Mazda strategy of re-examining all current car technologies & redesigning from the ground up (Skyactive)will emerge as a more sustainable and less costly route to sales success. Certainly their new class leading CX-5 & 6 models have received much praise in the motoring press, especially when compared against Rav-4 (new model) & Avensis.

        What happened Toyota? Have you given up the fight?

      2. Hi Gerry,
        Thank you for your feedback on the new Auris, this is always very valuable to us and is passed on to our Product Development colleagues for consideration.
        We were naturally disappointed with the Auto Express group test. However, we are confident in the competitiveness of new Auris in its design, dynamics and specification, which has been well supported with other media and customers.
        We are committed to the Toyota offering in Europe and the UK, which can be seen through the breadth of our product range and a vehicle volume of approximately 800,000 units. Partnerships are commonplace in the industry and we believe our collaboration with BMW is an opportunity to benefit our customers using shared expertise and technologies. Our PSA partnership for example has seen a strengthened offering in the A segment.
        Whilst Hybrid engines are a major powertrain for us, this will not dilute our diesel engine range, we consider both of vital importance in meeting our customers’ needs. We see Hybrid as a platform for future technologies, supported with over 4 million global sales of Hybrid so far. However, we appreciate Hybrid vehicles will not be suitable for all customers, and our Dealers will always advise the engine that is right for them.
        We’re once again sorry you’ve been disappointed with the Toyota brand; we do recommend experiencing the new Auris firsthand to truly see how this generation has evolved and how it remains a competitive offering.
        Kind regards.

  2. At last a decent diesel engine for Toyota drivers. I’ve a 2012 D4-D Avensis, and it returns around 43 mpg, which by modern standards is appalling. It also ‘pinks’ like hell and seems to ‘hunt’ at times. Every Toyota I’ve had since 2007, has the same problem. My current Avensis has a second gear that is just slightly too high and means that I have to shift into first in some instances, when previous Toyotas were happy in second. This is not the experience I would have expected from Toyota. Toyota need to realise that they’ve missed the one diesel segment that would have made them bucket loads of money, and that is the 1.6 diesel segment. The 2.0 might be too much and the 1.4 isn’t worth the bother of turning the key. Let’s also hope that Toyota give up on the Hybrid stuff too, unless that is, you can tow with them and they return better MPG than the plethora of European diesels, that can return magical MPG figures without the hassle of batteries.

    1. Hi Ed,
      If you have any concerns about your Avensis, we recommend raising them with either your Dealer otherwise you can speak with our Customer Relations team, here:
      Our partnership with BMW will add to the array of options that customers can benefit from and with the very latest in engine technology, we’re getting more our of 1.4 diesel engines than ever before. This is a cleaner and more efficient technology which we’re excited about launching later this year. That said, as per your comments, 1.6 and 2.0 diesel engines will be part of this project with BMW also. Stay tuned!

    1. Hi Michael
      Thanks for your post.
      The new diesel engines will be available with manual transmissions only. Hope this helps clarify.

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