BMW Group - Toyota Collaboration speech (Akio Toyoda)

Hello everyone.  I am Akio Toyoda of Toyota Motor Corporation.

Thank you all for coming today.

Thank you Chairman Reithofer, Board Member Diess, Senior Vice President Fröhlich and all those at BMW for this opportunity.

Last December, BMW and Toyota announced a mid-to-long-term partnership on next-generation environmental technologies.  Today we are announcing a new step in our partnership.

BMW has its own culture and history from many years of car manufacturing.  It is a world leader in making cars of emotional appeal.

I believe cars have to be fun and have to be able to stir the emotions.  Thus, I have been so excited since the end of last year about our partnership with BMW.

Our two companies share a common principle.  We both believe it is our mission to make ever-better cars.  This principle is the basis of our corporate management.

We are not coming together to become bigger.  We are not coming together to form capital ties.  We are joining hands because we want to make ever-better cars.

As a driver, I directly help vehicle development at the Nürburgring.

The Nürburgring is the toughest course there is.  At the Nürburgring, the road tosses the car around.  Curves seem to try to throw out the car and driver.

Roads make cars.  The Nürburgring has taught me so.

That is why many carmakers test new cars at the Nürburgring.  They develop cars there, while competing against other manufacturers.

But at the Nürburgring, there is always a car that passes me.  It is a BMW.

BMW is not only a premium brand.  BMW knows how to make a car perform.  It knows more than anyone else that roads make cars. 

And at the Nürburgring, it is my greatest rival.

To me, BMW earns the utmost respect.

BMW and Toyota both want to make ever-better cars.  We respect each other.  That is why we already can take the next step together. 

I met Chairman Reithofer again today, and I felt the relationship of trust between our two companies grow stronger.

I am extremely happy to announce that we signed a joint statement as long-term strategic partners.

I very much look forward to the “car talk” between both companies’ engineers at the Nürburgring and other places where cars are developed.

The attractive and emotional products we plan cannot be born in conference rooms.  They can only be the result of real car talk where development actually takes place.

And I could not be happier if Chairman Reithofer and I were able to join such car talk.

Let me now mention the areas of new collaboration between our two companies.

BMW and Toyota agreed to explore possible collaborations in four areas.  They are fuel cell system technologies, sports cars, electrification and light weight technology.

Toyota is strong in environment-friendly hybrids and fuel cells.  I am confident these technologies will be useful to BMW.

On the other hand, I believe BMW’s strength is developing sports cars.  I get so excited thinking about the cars that will result from this relationship.  

I think I can say that I am the one who is most looking forward to a sports car that is environment-friendly and truly excites car fans around the world.

I am sure working with BMW will enhance Toyota’s drive to make ever-better cars.

Thank you.

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