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GERMANY/JAPAN: BMW-Toyota 'green tech deepening' confirmed

By Dave Leggett | 28 June 2012

A press conference scheduled for tomorrow appears to confirm speculation earlier this week that BMW and Toyota are set to announce further collaboration in the area of green automotive technologies.

The two companies have confirmed that speeches will be given by Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG Norbert Reithofer and TMC President Akio Toyoda tomorrow (19:30 JST; 11:30 BST; 12:30 CET).

Media reports earlier this week citing informed insiders suggested that an announcement would be made soon.

In Japan, the Nikkei news agency reported that Toyota will provide hybrid systems and fuel cell technology to BMW.

The two companies are already collaborating in this area. They reached an agreement at the end of last year to pursue joint research on next generation lithium-ion batteries. The latest reports suggest a deepening collaboration to cope with tightening environmental regulations in Europe and elsewhere, Nikkei said.

Jiji news agency, citing informed sources, reported that Toyota wants to receive BMW's technical support to reduce vehicle weight in exchange for providing BMW with its technologies for hybrid and fuel cell vehicles.

Meanwhile in Germany, Der Spiegel also reported that the two companies have been in talks for expanding cooperation and have reportedly agreed on 'several projects' since their December agreement. It said Toyota is set to receive diesel engines from BMW by 2014 in Europe, as well as collaborating on research in lithium-ion battery for electric vehicles.