Toyota And BMW Forge Diesel Alliance
German-Nipponese alliances are not going out of style, the Volkswagen/Suzuki soap notwithstanding. Toyota and BMW cut a diesel deal – if The Nikkei [sub] is correctly informed. They ran the story very early in the Japanese Saturday morning; hence no comment from Toyota is available. We’ll ask on Sunday, when we’ll see that mysterious RWD sports car.
According to The Nikkei, BMW will supply diesel engines for Toyota’s passenger vehicles sold in Europe. When and how many is unclear.
Toyota is betting heavily on hybrids, but Europeans are hybrid-averse and prefer diesel instead. Not having diesel options misses more than half of the market. However, with only a 4 percent share of the European market, spending too much time and money on diesel engines does not make sense for Toyota.
BMW on the other hand needs the volume, and is willing to sell diesel engines to anyone with money. “Toyota is expected to share its technologies for hybrid systems and related areas if requested,” says The Nikkei.
This answers the question "Why European buy lousy quality French cars while ignoring higher quality Japanese car". It not because French cars are particularly interesting to drive (and repair).
It would be interesting to see which diesel engines Toyota is after - the transverse 1.6 and 2.0 engines as found in the Mini, or the longitudinally mounted 2.0. If Toyota is no longer interested in developing their own diesel engines because of the enormous costs involved, and BMW seeks extra volume, then I guess transverse it is. Toyota was actually quite ahead of its time with their AD diesel engines, with NOx reducing catalysts and such, but getting those engines up to Euro6 scratch while driving CO2 emissions down takes huge expenses, and probably even a completely new engine family.
Really odd that BMW bought diesels from Toyota and now Toyota is going to buy diesels from BMW. Though I guess with a 4% market share I could see why they don't think it's really worth the trouble. I'm guessing they just mean car diesels here since they still have plenty of diesel truck motors out there.
I'd love to buy a diesel-powered or hybrid-powered Sienna here in USA, around the time kid #3 is born. Both options would have big advantages depending on my situation (and my other car) when the time comes.