TOKYO (Reuters) – Suzuki Motor Corp and Daihatsu to join a commercial electric vehicle development joint venture led by Toyota Motor Corp, helping expand the alliance’s reach to mini-vehicles, automakers said on Wednesday .
The two groups will hold a 10% stake each in the joint venture, as will Isuzu Motors and Hino Motors, while Toyota will hold the remaining 60%, they said.
“With Suzuki and Daihatsu joining the project and working together, we will be able to expand our circle of cooperation to cover not only commercial vehicles but also mini vehicles,” said Toyota President Akio Toyoda.
“This expansion allows us to take one more step towards a better mobility society,” he added.
The move comes as Japanese automakers face growing competition from tech giants and other rivals making electric and driverless cars.
Toyota, Isuzu and Hino launched the Commercial Japan Partnership Technologies Corporation last April to strengthen their competitive advantage in connected commercial vehicles.
(Report Eimi Yamamitsu, French version Federica Mileo, edited by Jean-Michel Bélot)