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Toyota Sees New Business Opportunity In Leveraging Hybrid Tech

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The head of Toyota Motor Corp’s electric vehicle (EV) business told Reuters the automaker has received enquiries from more than 50 companies since announcing last week that it would offer free access to patents for EV motors and power control units.The executive also said Toyota aims to use partnerships to cut by as much as half the outlays for expanded electric and hybrid vehicle components production in the United States, China and Japan. “Until now we have been a tier 1 automaker, but now we also intend to become a tier 2 supplier of hybrid systems,” Toyota Executive Vice President Shigeki Terashi said. Supplying rivals would greatly expand the scale of production for hardware such as power control units and electric motors that are used in gasoline-electric hybrids, plug-in hybrids, fully electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles, he added.
Toyota last week outlined plans to offer automakers and auto suppliers royalty-free access to nearly 24,000 electrified vehicle technologies patented by the Japanese auto giant.

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So, Toyota opens up 24,000 hybrid car patents to other automakers....  Signals of a transitional period before taking on the EV Market?

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Funny how Toyota can build a robot which can dunk a basketball from half-court, but can't make a Tesla beater...

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1 minute ago, ThunderBlade said:

Funny how Toyota can build a robot which can dunk a basketball from half-court, but can't make a Tesla beater...

It's as simple as following the money. There's more profit in Toyota's current business model of internal combustion and they've invested billions into the technology. Obviously, Tesla never had this problem and is making long-range, fast, pure EVs as fast as they can.

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Expected.  Laws of the market and money flows. However, Toyota is one of the largest car companies in the world....

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On 4/12/2019 at 7:28 AM, pinto said:

So, Toyota opens up 24,000 hybrid car patents to other automakers....  Signals of a transitional period before taking on the EV Market?

I would say they're just sticking to their core competence: hybrids & manufacturing. 

Automobiles - and then hybrid automobiles specifically - are markets Toyota happens to be in, but the Toyota Manufacturing System is the heart of the company & their true advantage.  Toyota's design was never that good, but their ability to consistently manufacture reliable products was world-class. 

When executives decide where to take the company next, they try to use what the company is good at: core competencies, comparative advantages, etc. In this case, they've realized they can't win on design - but they do have legacy technology everyone will need for a while (cars that don't go full-electric will first go hybrid), and they're extremely proficient at manufacturing it.  Thus, becoming a supplier makes perfect sense.

It's also helpful to understand the automotive market.  Right now, there are too many companies designing too many models to be produced in too many factories.  The herd will be culled, and everyone in the industry knows it.  Product volumes also stand to be disrupted by electrification (EVs can last 2-4X longer than ICEs) and autonomous technology (autonomous taxis => fewer people buying cars).  Toyota knows they must adjust to survive the coming bloodbath.  Becoming a supplier insulates them from these changes. 

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