Economy, Auto

BMW, Toyota Join Forces

BMW, Toyota  Join ForcesBMW, Toyota  Join Forces

BMW and Toyota are moving ahead on a project to jointly develop a midsize sports car with an agreement on common underpinnings for the model. The program to create the vehicle is "progressing according to plan," BMW said on Monday, according to Bloomberg. Toyota, the world's biggest carmaker, and BMW, the biggest producer of luxury vehicles, outlined plans for the sports car in early 2013 and said in November 2014 that they had reached the concept phase for the vehicle after completing a technical feasibility study. The manufacturers have declined to specify where the model might be built or when production would start. The carmakers' alliance also includes research projects on fuel cells. Testing of a first set of platform components remains scheduled for 2020, BMW said Monday. Carmakers are trying to ease the burden of investing in new models as the cost of technology such as autonomous driving and more efficient engines strains profitability. The difficulty of reaching adequate returns on spending has prompted Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne to advocate for consolidation in the industry.