The Nikkei reports that Toyota Motor Corp. will supply small cars on an OEM basis to Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., the maker of Subarus, in which Toyota holds a 16.5% stake (earlier post), starting as early as this fall. This would be the first time that Toyota would provide finished vehicles to another Japanese automaker.
The move will allow Toyota to increase factory operating rates, while Fuji Heavy will be able to focus on midsize vehicles, the report said.
Toyota is expected to supply the Ractis subcompact, which is available with a 1.3- or 1.5-liter engine. It will likely make some slight modifications to the vehicles destined for its partner when the Ractis goes through a full remodeling. About 10,000 units will likely be shipped to Fuji Heavy a year.
…[Fuji Heavy] decided to receive subcompacts from Toyota on the view that demand for such low-priced, fuel-efficient vehicles will grow. The current Subaru lineup does not include any 1.3- to 1.5-liter models…Toyota and Fuji Heavy intend to release a jointly developed sports car under their respective brands as early as the end of 2011. Plans also call for Toyota to provide technologies for hybrid vehicles.