Toyota and Suzuki announced last week that they will strengthen their burgeoning alliance by taking small stakes in each other. It's yet another sign of the industrial pressures bearing down on car companies and the need to control costs – especially in developing expensive advanced technologies. In this case, Suzuki lacks the size and resources to go it alone but in working with Toyota it can benefit from Toyota's strength and scale in electrification technologies. Toyota gets the benefit of Suzuki's strong presence in compact vehicle segments and associated technologies.
Toyota and Suzuki get closer with cross-shareholding
China's automotive market is down so far this year and Beijing is pulling at levers to stimulate sales. The next few months will be critical, not only in terms of 2019's outturn but also in setting the tone for demand in 2020 and OEM investment strategies.
Beijing wants cities to relax car purchase restrictions
If there's a cold wind blowing in China, it's probably fair to say that Ford is feeling it.
Ford and Zotye 'reviewing EV partnership'
Vehicle sales are also down in southeast Asia and that's impacting GM's manufacturing plans in Thailand.
GM to cut 327 jobs in Thailand as losses continue
Here in the UK, the mainstream media continues to be dominated by the seemingly endless politics and multiple scenarios of Brexit and the 'withdrawal agreement' (or not). We have had a look at the impact of different scenarios on the UK automotive sector.
UK auto industry's structure 'not sustainable' under no-deal Brexit
And there's a full report that makes for a very absorbing read (options for companies, likely winners and losers)...
Brexit's impact on UK auto - Thematic Research
UK car output was down in July as manufacturers felt the impact of sluggish demand around the world, a reminder of how export-orientated the UK auto sector is.
UK car output down 10.6% in July
It also looks like the global vehicle market is heading for a decline this year. Here's our latest global market analysis
On a more positive note, I was intrigued by Honda's announcement of new front airbag technology. There's a 'sail panel' that acts like a baseball catcher's mitt and 'catches' the head, stopping it from rotating severely or sliding off the airbag. Nice work.
Honda US develops new passenger front airbag technology
Until next time...
Q2 2019 company results
Second quarter, half year, first fiscal quarter - financial results for the period ended June 30 are in. We have covered the ones we think you should know about. All here in one handy pack.