Toyota and Tesla together to produce an EV SUV?

The latest rumor spread by Korean media Ghosun IIbo reports that Toyota and Tesla have been considering a technical partnership since last year which is said to be on the verge of success. The industrial giant and the stock market giant hand in hand? Enough to fuel a certain buzz, or a certain buzz!

Give and take ?

Once this partnership with is established, Tesla could launch its famous low-cost compact SUV electric vehicle using the Toyota platform. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said during the “Battery day” in September 2020 that Tesla will be released. « a compact and affordable $ 25,000 electric car ” in 2023. However, many experts were skeptical about Tesla’s ability to produce electric cars at such low prices.

As part of the partnership, Toyota would supply the vehicle platform to Tesla and, instead, Tesla would supply Toyota with some of the electronic control platform (ECU) and software technology (OS) installed in it. his vehicle. In other words, through a win-win cooperation between the two companies, Tesla can reduce the cost and development period of small electric SUVs by taking advantage of the industrial capacity and large volumes of Toyota, while the latter obtains a development gain on the ECU and the software operating system, areas where the Japanese firm is a notch below the American.

Mood incompatibility?

Supporters of this theory recall that Tesla and Toyota have already teamed up almost ten years ago on the RAV4 electric vehicle equipped with Tesla’s battery system, which thus made it possible to meet the constraints of electric vehicle quotas imposed in California. But that was a long time ago, a time when Tesla didn’t have the status it has today.

Nevertheless, the corporate culture is diametrically opposed between the two, square and traditional for the Japanese, atypical and even sometimes unpredictable for the American. In recent times, statements have not necessarily been very diplomatic. In November 2020, as Tesla overtook the Japanese giant in market capitalization, CEO Akio Toyoda did not fail to sharply criticize Tesla.

Faced with the “hype” of Wall Street towards the firm of Silicon Valley, the CEO of the Japanese automobile giant Toyota had opposed a scathing metaphor: Tesla “Proclaims that its recipe will be the world reference in the future […]. I think we will be the first to be chosen because we have a complete electrification menu ”Akio Toyoda said at Toyota’s quarterly earnings press conference.“They don’t really do anything concrete; people just do buy the recipe. Whereas we have a kitchen and a chef and we make real dishes. Yes, our stock price is lower, but when it comes to products, we have a full menu for customers to choose from. (..) we cook real food, and the customers who eat in front of us are demanding ”, he continued, continuing his metaphor.

However, in an industrial and automotive world in full transformation, the truth of yesterday is not necessarily that of tomorrow.


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