After the Suzuki-Volkswagen tie-up for research and development fell out for the want of a concrete development in 2015, the Japanese car maker has been looking for options. Suzuki is now said to be in talks with Toyota for a partnership into future research and development.
The rules and regulations regarding engines, emissions and safety is getting increasingly difficult to comply with, smaller manufacturers are finding it more and more difficult to put in the kind of money needed for the research. Toyota already has already tied up with manufacturers like Mazda and Subaru for technology and the partnership with Suzuki should help them gain expertise from emerging markets like India where Maruti-Suzuki is the largest car seller.
Also, with Toyota’s acquisition of Daihatsu, the budget car brand, Toyota will want in on the compact car recipe that Suzuki masters in both the Japanese and the Indian markets. On the other hand, Suzuki will get access to Toyota’s global expertise in emission technology and new engines. Also, Toyota’s $10.3 billion budget for R&D for 2017 would help Suzuki which has earmarked close to $1.5 billion for research and development.
There is also a recognisable shift from the classic internal combustion powertrain towards hybrids and all-electric setups where Toyota has had years of experience with the Prius and its Lexus series of cars. Suzuki would certainly benefit from that for the Indian market which is set to adopt Euro 6 norms by 2020.