Toyota Team Up With Isuzu And Hino To Develop EV And Connectivity Technologies And Streamline Logistics

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CEOs from Toyota, Isuzu and Hino appear on stage to announce a new partnership. PHOTO COURTESY OF TOYOTA

Not since Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi bosses assembled on stage in 2016 to announce their new expanded alliance have we seen such a gathering a high powered captains of industry come together in Japan to announce a new collaboration

In Tokyo on Wednesday, CEOs from Toyota and truck makers Isuzu and Hino announced they are establishing a partnership in commercial vehicles to collaborate in electric, fuel-cell, connected and autonomous driving technologies. Hino is Toyota's truck division and has been Isuzu's rival for decades.

"By creating this 3-company collaboration, our aim is to streamline the logistics industry in Japan and beyond while moving towards carbon neutrality and developing next-generation C.A.S.E. strategies which include EV, connected and autonomous technologies. It is true that Isuzu and Hino are rivals in the truck business, but after I invited them to join our collaboration, they understood that working together was the best plan of action to improve the logistics industry," said Toyota's president, Akio Toyoda. The three companies combined control around 80% of the Japanese truck market.

As the feisty Toyota boss explained his goals, it became clear that the figure head of Japan's auto industry feels responsible for the welfare and progress of the 5.5 million people who work in it, and the 2.7 million, or half of that figure, who keep the massive logistics industry ticking over.

According to the announcement, Toyota and truckmaker Isuzu will each take a 4.6% stake in each other. On news of the 3-way team-up, Isuzu's stock price soared 8% while Hino's rose by 4.7%.

The tie-up is designed to lower emissions by creating hydrogen infrastructure, as well as helping to solve the nation's shortage of drivers by sharing information online to make deliveries more efficient.

"And so we just have to try, then try again. It is through this process of repetition that Toyota has achieved its success." The three firms plan to develop platforms for trucks that support EV, hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles and self-driving technology allowing them to cut costs, strengthen ecological infrastructure and improve traffic safety.

"Companies should promote innovation if we want to build a better society," said Isuzu president Masanori Katayama. Apart from their mutual stake holdings, Toyota, Isuzu and Hino have established a company called Commercial Japan Partnership Technologies Corporation, to promote their alliance and plan technology and services.

Capitalized at 10 million yen ($92,000), the new firm will be 80% owned by Toyota, and 10% by Isuzu and Hino respectively. "This new strategy is a clear step toward helping solve society's problems and challenges," said Yoshio Shimo, Hino's president.

One of the main objectives of the 3-way collaboration is to introduce fuel cell trucks through a "hydrogen-based society" model that is being developed in Fukushima Prefecture, the area devastated by an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster of 2011

"Through our partnership, we want streamline the logistics industry and in so doing, make the work of staff transporting packages easier," Toyota said.


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