Suzuki and Toyota aren't merging, and the companies are willing to accept other automakers into this collaboration.

Suzuki and Toyota once again look close to a major business deal because the Japanese automakers are negotiating about whether to collaborate on developing environmental, safety, and information technology. The talks remain in the early stages, so it’s not yet entirely clear the extent to which the two firms would work together. The companies also don’t yet know whether this cooperation would include buying stock in each other, according to Automotive News Europe.

In terms of automotive business deals, both firms are surprisingly candid in their announcement. Suzuki admits that the company “is increasingly feeling a sense of uncertainty” over the rapid rate of technological advancement in the industry. In addition, Toyota acknowledges “that it may be behind competitors in North America and Europe when it comes to the establishment of standardizations and partnership with other companies.” If this deal happens, it would address both problems. However, neither automaker outlined a timeframe for any updates about this deal.

This deal doesn’t point to a complete merger, and the firms would continue competing against each other, despite the partnership. The companies are also open to other automakers joining this collaboration as a way of promoting greater standardization in the industry.

Rumors have hinted at Toyota and Suzuki pursuing a partnership since earlier this year. For example, anonymous sources claimed the pair would team up to buy Daihatsu. However, Toyota eventually made the purchase by itself.

Suzuki has had a tough year in 2016. In May, the company admitted that it used improper fuel economy testing methods for at least 16 models in Japan. The scandal was bad enough to force the company’s CEO to retire. In September, Japanese tax officials punished the company after investigators discovered a variety of accounting errors that lowered the automaker’s tax burden. The scheme included showing a loss on unused parts for racing motorcycles but still keeping the components in inventory.

Source: Automotive News Europe, Toyota

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