Toyota to partner with BYD in China

Daniel Fowler
November 10, 2019

Ltd. and Toyota Motor Corp. will establish a joint venture next year to develop pure-electric vehicles, the Chinese carmaker announced yesterday.

The automakers will invest 50-50 in a new company, the primary mission of which will be to design and develop BEVs from the ground up. In addition to this JV with BYD, Toyota has an R&D centre in China (TMEC) and two regular JV companies with local partners FAW and GAC. The new company aims to be established in China by 2020, with BYD and Toyota to each contributing 50% of the total capital needed.

This isn't the first time Toyota has partnered with Chinese manufacturers to push the limits of electrification.

Toyota's partnership with Subaru will play in both the BEV and autonomy spaces.

BYD, the leader in China's new-energy vehicle sector, has been seeking to diversify its supply chain since 2017, particularly in batteries.

The C-HR and IZOA will be the first battery-electric vehicles for sale in China under the Toyota brand. The company is backed by investor Warren Buffet.

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BYD shocked investors last month with news that its full-year profit could plunge as much as 43% on sluggish sales.

While hybrid leader Toyota has been cautious in rolling out BEVs, BYD is a serious player, making battery-powered vans, cars, and even buses at scale for domestic consumption and export.

"With the same goal to further promote the widespread use of electrified vehicles, we appreciate that BYD and Toyota can become "teammates", able to put aside our rivalry and collaborate", Toyota executive vice president Shigeki Terashi said. In 2008, BYD became the first in the world to sell mass produced plug-in hybrids, and since 2015, BYD is the top seller of EVs and PHEVs in the world.

Toyota has sold more than 14 million electrified vehicles worldwide and has accumulated extensive knowledge concerning the development, production, and sale of both HEVs and their related core components.

It came from a partnership between the two automakers formed in July to co-develop BEVs and vehicle batteries.

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