Suzuki and Daihatsu have announced that they are joining a Toyota-led commercial electric vehicle entity, which is aimed at bringing electrification and autonomous driving to commercial vehicles, Bloomberg reports. The two automakers will join Isuzu and Hino, Toyota’s truck and bus unit, in the partnership, which was formed earlier this year.
The move will see a deepening of the relationship between the automakers. Both Suzuki and Daihatsu will acquire a 10% stake in the partnership, known as Commercial Japan Partnership Technologies (CJPT). It will also help the alliance expand its focus from trucks to smaller vehicles.
The two companies said that they would bring to the table significant experience in mini-vehicles used by consumers and businesses, which accounts for about 31 million of the 78 million vehicles in Japan that serve as an essential lifeline in the daily lives of people, especially in rural areas.
The CJPT alliance will pool resources to address issues that mini-vehicle manufacturers are unable to solve on their own and explore ways to overcome the cost challenges of bringing electrification and autonomous technology to smaller cars so they remain affordable.
Suzuki is already working closely with Toyota, the two companies having inked a capital alliance deal in 2019 to collaborate in a variety of fields. For Daihatsu, which became a subsidiary of Toyota in 2016, the new venture extends the scope of collaboration further in the field of mini-commercial applications.
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