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Statement by Dr. Herbert Diess, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Development, Joint Press Conference of BMW Group and Toyota Motor Corporation
Statement Dr. Diess, Press Conference BMW Group and Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan on 24th January 2013
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Dear Mr. Uchiyamada,
Dear Mr. Ihara,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great honour to join you here today. I am very happy to visit the headquarters of Toyota Motor Corporation.
Both of our companies, Toyota and the BMW Group, have a commitment to leadership in everything we do. And underpinning our mutual focus is a passion for mobility. This has led us to share a very similar vision of what tomorrow’s sustainable mobility might look like.
Today’s visit is another important step in moving forward our long-term cooperation. And our two companies are continuing our collaboration from positions of financial health and innovative strength.
Driving our cooperation is the shared goal of strengthening our competitive position in sustainable future technologies. Why is this so important?
Today, the automotive industry is at a turning point. In fact, the BMW Group believes this is the most important time in the history of our industry.
People need to move around. I’m sure we can all agree on this truism. And the possibilities for the individual mobility of tomorrow represent an entirely new approach to the vehicle.
For car companies, design and manufacture will be changed in ways which were previously unthinkable — like completely sustainable production. For customers, the sales and service experience will also be much more intuitive and personalized.
Indeed, the BMW Group believes we are about to embark on a new era of mobility.
Driving this significant shift is a set of worldwide mega trends, including:
- Growing urban areas,
- Natural resources becoming more scarce,
- Increasing regulation, and of course,
- Changing customer preferences.
Like any set of challenges, these mega trends also present great opportunities for the auto industry.
Toyota and the BMW Group are seizing this unique chance to lead the industry towards the future of mobility. And by doing so, we will play a central role in defining tomorrow’s vehicles. The binding agreement we signed today moves us one step closer to achieving this vision.
Ladies and gentlemen, looking back for a moment at the progress leading up to today, our new agreement makes perfect sense:
- In December of 2011, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on next-generation lithium-ion battery technologies.
- In addition to this MoU, the BMW Group signed a contract to supply Toyota Motor Europe with highly efficient 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre diesel engines, starting in 2014.
- We also agreed to identify other possible areas for collaboration.
- Then, in March of 2012, we signed an agreement and began collaborative research to increase the performance and capacity of lithium-ion battery cells.
- A couple of months later in June of 2012, Mr. Toyoda visited us in Munich. He and Mister Reithofer, our CEO, signed another Memorandum of Understanding aimed at collaborating across four fields of technology:
- Joint development of a fuel cell system;
- Joint development of architecture and components for a future sports vehicle;
- Collaboration on powertrain electrification; and
- Joint R&D on lightweight technologies.
This MoU set the stage for our next milestone: Today’s binding agreements formalize our collaboration.
As a part of the agreements, we will collaborate in the following 4 areas:
- Joint research on the next generation lithium-ion batteries will be extended to include the aim of developing lithium-air batteries;
2. Future development of a future sports car platform, in
which each company will contribute its core competences:
- Toyota in environmentally-friendly, hybrid and fuel-cell technology;
- The BMW Group in efficient, highly-dynamic premium vehicles;
3. Toyota and the BMW Group will jointly develop a fundamental fuel-cell vehicle system.
4. The BMW Group will also collaborate with Toyota in lightweight construction — a particularly important topic for us.
I am personally looking forward to continuing our close cooperation with Toyota Motor Corporation.
What makes me so optimistic about our partnership?
Over the past few months, the working relationship between the teams of both companies has been extremely positive and very constructive.
Of course, our binding agreement is proof of this.
Both our teams share the same spirit and the same drive in creating sustainable cars, as well as better production processes. At the end of the day, we will strengthen both our companies.
Important to our success is learning, understanding and accepting each others corporate culture and at the same time capitalizing on our similarities.
My colleagues on the Board of Management and I believe these factors will form the foundation of our success moving forward in these various fields.
In order to tackle the challenges that lie ahead, leaders with a shared vision must join forces and take bold action. Toyota and the BMW Group are the most successful, most sustainable manufacturers in their respective segments. I am certain that, together, we will keep leading the way to the future of the auto industry.