By on July 19, 2019

On Friday, Toyota Motor Corp. announced it had signed an agreement for the joint development of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) with China’s BYD Company Ltd. Technically, BYD also made an announcement but we’re not scouring their press page on an hourly basis. Toyota gets top billing.

According to the release, the two companies will jointly develop “sedans and low-floor SUVs as well as the onboard batteries for these vehicles and others with the aim to launch them in the Chinese market under the Toyota brand in the first half of the 2020s.”

Having previously announced it was teaming up with Contemporary Amerex Technology (CATL) and Panasonic to supply and develop batteries, Toyota is trying to expand rapidly into electric development — after showing limited interest for years. We’ve no clue how these partnerships will influence the brand’s physical products outside of Asia but, at the very least, it should have fewer battery supply issues than some of the competition moving forward.  (Read More…)

By on June 6, 2019

Subaru Legacy 2018 Logo Emblem Grille

This is what handing 16.8 percent of your company’s ownership to another automaker gets you. Just days after BMW and Jaguar Land Rover announced an electric powertrain agreement, Subaru and Toyota claim a new, shared electric vehicle platform is on the way, as well as a jointly developed crossover.

The effort will mean Subaru — a brand with only a single (Toyota-assisted) plug-in hybrid on the market — will finally have the means to enter the growing EV field. (Read More…)

By on April 24, 2019

Not long ago, it was expected that General Motors would sink a pile of cash into upstart electric automaker Rivian. Instead, GM held its horses while Amazon plunked down a $700 million investment in the Michigan-based company.

Now, Ford Motor Company is filling GM’s shoes, offering up half a billion dollars and announcing a co-developed product with the EV company, creator of the long-range R1T pickup and R1S electric three-row SUV. The big question now is: what form will that vehicle take? (Read More…)

By on March 30, 2019

Image: FCA

Like characters on a long-running TV show, PSA Group and Fiat Chrysler remain the topic of intense speculation as to when they’ll hook up. There’s been romance in the past, including that time in 2007 when they spent the night and walked away with a series of jointly-developed small vans. The children’s names were Peugeot Bipper, Citroen Nemo and Fiat Fiorino. Only the latter survives to this day.

In the large van segment, FCA builds the Fiat Ducato, Peugeot Boxer, and Citroen Jumper at its Italian Sevel Sud plant, with production recently extended through 2023. Thanks to PSA’s acquisition of GM’s European operations, Opel and Vauxhall-badged vans will soon roll from the FCA factory.

As rumors of a kiboshed merger deal swirl (FCA’s controlling family reportedly didn’t approve of the marriage), a new report claims there’s another limited partnership in the works. (Read More…)

By on March 28, 2019

2017 Volkswagen Amarok, Image: Volkswagen

The fledgling alliance between Ford and Volkswagen took another step towards jointly-developed products Thursday, with VW signing an initial contract for a Ranger-based replacement for VW’s aging, midsize Amarok.

Commercial vans and pickups were top of mind when the automakers officially partnered up back in January, with electric vehicles and autonomous driving serving as (potential) future collaborations. More news on that front arrived today, too.  (Read More…)

By on March 27, 2019

The unlikely alliance between BMW and Daimler, solidified earlier this year, is in the opening stages of producing something tangible. The duo are already said to be working on a joint platform for electric vehicles, which the German business publication Manager Magazin claims will underpin a new EV from BMW.

Called the i2, the battery-powered subcompact is to be slotted beneath BMW’s existing i3. While rumored to be similar in size, the i2 will abandon the i3’s carbon fiber body in an attempt to minimize costs and broaden appeal. Daimler would follow by producing its own version, likely using Mercedes-Benz’s EQ sub-brand.  (Read More…)

By on January 15, 2019

2019 Ford Ranger, Image: Ford

Months of speculation and rumors came to an end in Detroit Tuesday, as auto giants Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen Group officially announced they will take their relationship to the next level.

After signing a Memorandum of Understanding last year, initially to explore joint commercial vehicle production, the two automakers now say their pact will birth a midsize pickup truck for global markets. Volkswagen Ranger, anyone? (Read More…)

By on January 9, 2019

Ford and Volkswagen, two auto giants who spent much of 2018 making eyes at each other and playfully batting away rumors (and sparking a few of their own), might lay their relationship bare in Detroit next week.

The two automakers have already signed a Memorandum of Understanding, partnering initially with the aim of developing joint light commercial vehicles. But that was just the start. Over the course of the past year, this partnership grew to include pickup swaps, electric vehicle platform sharing, joint U.S. plants, and God knows what else — at least according to rumors. Both companies made it clear something big was brewing, but always fell back to a “we’re just talking” line.

Now, it looks like we have a time and place for the announcement. (Read More…)

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