Japanese automakers Toyota, Isuzu, and Hino are forming a commercial vehicle alliance to collaborate on electric, hydrogen, connected, and autonomous driving technologies.
Toyota Motor Corp., Japan's largest automaker, and truck maker Isuzu Motors will each take a 4.6% stake in each other, the three companies said in a joint statement Wednesday. Hino is Toyota's truck division and has been Isuzu's biggest competitor for decades.
"By creating this three-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 electric vehicles, connected and autonomous technologies," Toyota's president, Akio Toyoda said.
The three companies combined control around 80% of the Japanese truck market.
Toyota sold a 5.9% stake in Isuzu that it had purchased in 2006. Previously, Isuzu had a partnership with U.S. automaker General Motors.
Toyota, Isuzu, and Hino are working to mitigate emissions by constructing hydrogen infrastructure, as well as to help solve the nation's driver shortage by sharing details online and making deliveries more efficient.
A main initiative in the Toyota-Isuzu-Hino collaboration is the introduction of fuel cell trucks in a "hydrogen-based society" model being built in Fukushima Prefecture, which was devastated by the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster.
Toyoda said he has returned to northeastern Japan every March since then to remember the triple disasters. This year, he visited the Fukushima town of Namie, which is still contaminated by radiation, and expressed hope that the hydrogen society's efforts would help restore the city.
Apart from their mutual stake holdings, Isuzu, Hino, and Toyota are establishing a company in Tokyo called Commercial Japan Partnership Technologies Corp. to support their collaboration and plan technology and services, the company presidents announced at an online news conference.
Capitalized at 10 million yen ($93,000), the new company will be 80% owned by Toyota, 10% each by Isuzu and Hino.