The collaboration between Toyota and Subaru on the GT86/BRZ project has opened the giant Japanese manufacturer’s eyes to the benefits of collaborating with other car makers, according to Toyota’s GT86 development chief, Tetsuya Tada.
Toyota has previously pursued the occasional joint venture, most notably the Aygo/107/C1 city car project with PSA Peugeot-Citroën and a joint manufacturing initiative, now dissolved, with General Motors in the US called NUMMI. But it has traditionally preferred to operate in relative isolation.
Although the Subaru venture was initially difficult, with scepticism and a lack of trust on both sides stalling development, an early prototype engine breakthrough bonded the teams and led to what Tada now sees as a fruitful tie-up.
Tada says Toyota is now keen to attract fresh partners “if we can jointly produce something exceptional”. The company is now actively hunting for potential ventures, but in the meantime it will develop a convertible version of the GT86 with Subaru, and the next-generation Aygo, again in conjunction with PSA.