Toyota mulls business moves with Suzuki

Toyota Motor Corp. is considering forming a business tie-up with Suzuki Motor Corp. to reinforce its competitiveness in the car markets of India and other emerging nations, sources said Wednesday.

Toyota's move is also aimed at promoting co-operation with Suzuki in a wide range of fields related to advanced car-making skills, such as ecofriendliness, safety and production technology.

Japan's largest carmaker is also considering the idea of acquiring 100 per cent ownership of Daihatsu Motor Co., a consolidated subsidiary in the Toyota Group, sources said.

Toyota has been spearheading the development of ecofriendly technology and safety technology, as is most conspicuously illustrated by its hybrid cars.

However, there is an increasing need for the carmaker to capture a significant share in the automobile markets of emerging countries such as India, where Suzuki started operations a fairly long time ago.

The envisaged business tie-up seeks to combine Toyota's technology with Suzuki's expertise in manufacturing small cars.

Through this arrangement, Toyota hopes to promote co-operation with Suzuki in cultivating small car markets around the world, with an anticipated expansion of demand for that type of car in mind, the sources said.

Suzuki possesses expertise in producing lightweight small cars at low cost.

The car producer has a solid operational base in India. It has the predominant market share in that nation, at just over 40 per cent.

In September last year, Suzuki dissolved its capital tie-up with German automobile manufacturer Volkswagen.

Toyota, which currently has a 51 per cent stake in Daihatsu, is considering making it a wholly owned subsidiary.

By acquiring 100 per cent ownership of Daihatsu, Toyota hopes to clarify the position of Daihatsu as a company specialising in the production of the smallest cars within its business group.Speech