The recently formed alliance between Toyota and Subaru is starting to bear the first real fruit of the joint-venture. Toyota is already taking full advantage of the deal by using Subaru’s additional capacity at its North American plant to build the Camry sedan. Now, the two companies are swapping engineers in an effort to share technology and exploit further synergies.
Speaking with Ward’s Auto,
Toyota product manager David Sullivan revealed that roughly 100 to 150 engineers have been sent to Subaru and vice versa. “The exchange started a couple months after the agreement was reached for Toyota to invest in 8.7% of our parent company, Fuji Heavy,” he said, adding “there’s some intermingling going on right now, and in a year or two I think you’ll some results.”
According to Sullivan, Subaru could possibly use Toyota’s hybrid technology and gain from its quality management style, while Toyota could potentially take advantage of Subaru’s trademark AWD tech. “I suspect Toyota is fascinated with our AWD technology,” said Timothy Mahoney, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Subaru America.
We just hope Subaru can maintain its distinctiveness and not become another division of Toyota, however, the bland styling of the facelifted Tribeca SUV and new Impreza does not bode well for the brand.