Environment, safety, IT and 'product supply' on the agenda
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Japanese car makers Toyota and Suzuki, having announced initial talks in October last year, will now formally explore the framework of a potential partnership.

If the two parties agree to work together, they will focus on technologies relating to environmental impact, along with new safety and IT systems.

More, the deal could include "mutual supply of products and components", meaning complete vehicles and key parts in the build of a car.

This latest phase was announced together by Toyota president Akio Toyoda and Suzuki chairman Osamu Suzuki, the latter humbly admitting the talks were proposed by his company over concerns that it may not be able to keep up with modern technology development.


Above: Toyota's compact S-FR concept

"Under the leadership of President Akio Toyoda, Toyota was enthusiastic throughout our discussions regarding partnership, even though such was sought by Suzuki, which was concerned about the development of advanced technologies.I want to express my heartfelt appreciation," he said.

"In response to Toyota's display of enthusiasm, Suzuki also intensively engaged in the discussions, and we now stand at the starting point for building a concrete cooperative relationship. I want to give this effort our fullest and to aim at producing results that will lead Toyota to conclude that it was the right thing for Toyota to have decided to work together with Suzuki."

Akio Toyoda, responding to Suzuki's comments, said: "I am truly thankful for having been given this opportunity to work together with a company such as Suzuki, which overflows with the spirit of challenge. Toyota looks forward to learning much."


Above: the new Suzuki Ignis

Suzuki's last push for partnering with a global automotive giant was with Volkswagen, but that deal fell apart in the most acrimonious of fashions.

In a twist suited to the big screen, Volkswagen has gone on to become the global sales leader in the automotive industry, beating Toyota by just shy of one million vehicles in 2016.