Toyota Motor may think about mergers or acquisitions to obtain brand-new vehicle technologies, including self-driving, the company’s CEO stated on Wednesday, including that it had to contend more strongly against its competitors.
During a annual shareholders meeting CEO Akio Toyoda stated the automaker, which took longer to warm to self-driving automobiles and electric vehicles (EVs) than its competitors, would be more aggressive in broadening in these subjects, yielding he might have focused too much on maintaining the status quo at the firm previously.
“The automobile industry is going through big modifications, and concerns and ideas which we might have believed were far off in the future could impact us tomorrow. That’s why we have to go on the offensive while also protecting our areas of strength,” he stated.
“We’ve been investing 1 trillion yen ($ 9.08 billion) annually for R&D, expanding capex and redeeming shares, however this might not suffice. We need to think about all our alternatives, including M&A, to endure in the future.”
As the increase of self-driving vehicles progressively blurs the lines between car manufacturers and innovation companies, worldwide automakers are attempting to expand their role beyond making vehicles into transportation provider, raising their research and development budget plans and investing greatly in technology companies.
Toyota has spent $1 billion in an artificial intelligence research institute, and has signed technology partnerships with Microsoft and Uber.
It has likewise opened to more business beyond its group providers, consisting of tech company Nvidia, to obtain more software for its automated driving systems.
The automaker prepares to introduce a car in 2020 which can drive itself on highways. On the other hand, competing Nissan Motor is currently intending to get cars that can drive autonomously on city streets in that same year and General Motors states it has started to mass-produce self-driving test cars.