Toyota And BMW Forge Diesel Alliance

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

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.

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href=""> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href=""> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

More by Bertel Schmitt

Join the conversation
10 of 17 comments
  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Nov 25, 2011

    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).

    • See 3 previous
    • Colin42 Colin42 on Nov 26, 2011

      @Spike_in_Brisbane Actually the v6 diesel used by Citroen was designed by Ford. The Ford / PSA diesel partnership has PSA build diesels below 2.2 ltrs and Ford above 2.2 ltrs. This is the same diesel as used by Jaguar & Landrover

  • Nvdw Nvdw on Nov 26, 2011

    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.

    • See 1 previous
    • Nvdw Nvdw on Nov 27, 2011

      @colin42 It used to be up until 2010. All One and Cooper D models now have a 1.6 built by BMW, derived from the 2.0 unit. The petrol engines are still the Prince engines developed and built in cooperation with PSA.

  • Tekdemon Tekdemon on Nov 26, 2011

    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.

  • Luke42 Luke42 on Nov 26, 2011

    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.