TOKYO -- Toyota Motor Corp. and Suzuki Motor Corp. will take small equity stakes in each other, the Japanese automakers said on Wednesday, as they seek to develop newer technologies and meet sweeping changes upending the global auto industry.
The tie-up is the latest example of automakers chasing scale to manage costs and boost development. Auto companies -- especially smaller ones like Suzuki -- are struggling to meet the breakneck growth of an industry transformed by the rise of electric vehicles, ride-hailing and autonomous driving.
The deal will see Toyota pay about 96 billion yen (US$908 million) for a 4.94 per cent stake in smaller Suzuki, while Suzuki will acquire around 48 billion yen (US$455 million) worth of shares in Toyota.
That is equivalent to 0.2 per cent of Toyota's shares as of Wednesday's closing price, before the announcement.
The two automakers said in a joint statement they intended to overcome new challenges facing the industry by "building and deepening cooperative relationships in new fields while continuing to be competitors."
They said they would strengthen technologies and products in which each of them specialize.
"Toyota is getting Suzuki at an attractive valuation," said Janet Lewis, an analyst at Macquarie Capital Securities (Japan) Ltd. "It appears to be very similar to the mutual investments made between Toyota and Mazda."
Toyota and Suzuki said in 2016 they were exploring a partnership, citing technological challenges and the need to keep up with industry consolidation. The pair earlier this year announced an alliance to produce electric vehicles and compact cars for each other.
Automakers around the globe have been joining forces to slash development and manufacturing costs of new technology. Ford Motor Co and Volkswagen AG have said they will spend billions of dollars to jointly develop electric and self-driving vehicles.