Toyota, Panasonic to set up JV - GulfToday

Toyota, Panasonic to set up JV

Toyota

Masayoshi Shirayanagi and Makoto Kitano at a press meet in Tokyo. Associated Press

Japan’s Toyota Motor Corporation and Panasonic Corporation said they plan to establish a joint venture (JV) to develop “connected” services to be used in homes and urban development.

Operating officer of Toyota Masayoshi Shirayanagi and Managing Executive Officer of Panasonic Makoto Kitano were present during a press conference in Tokyo on Thursday to announce the joint venture.

The tie-up deepens the partnership between the companies, which in January announced a joint venture to build electric-vehicle (EV) batteries, pooling the R&D and manufacturing strengths of one of the world’s largest automakers and battery makers to compete in the fast-growing EV market.

In their latest venture, Toyota and Panasonic said they would set up a new company early next year to focus on technology that could be used to offer personalised services in the home. The pair plan to be 50-50 partners in the new firm and will increase cooperation at their respective housing operations in Japan.

“We will put our respective strengths together to offer new value in everyday life,” Panasonic President Kazuhiro Tsuga said. The move comes at a time when lower-emissions vehicles and ride-sharing services have opened up the auto industry to new competitors, leaving traditional car makers and their suppliers scrambling to find alternate revenue streams.

Toyota has been developing connected cars that can share information on usage - data that could be leveraged for on-demand ride-sharing, insurance and maintenance. The automaker has said it will tap into its partner network and its operations which range from building and selling cars, homes and companion robots to expand into new transportation and home energy services.

Reuters