Toyota to raise stake in Subaru to over 20%: Nikkei

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TOKYO (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp (T:) plans to raise its stake in Subaru Corp (T:) to more than 20% from around 17% now, expanding their partnership to invest more effectively in new technologies, reported on Friday.

The move is likely to cost more than 70 billion yen ($650 million) based on Subaru’s stock market value, the Japanese business daily said, without citing sources. Subaru will spend the same amount to buy a stake of less than 1% in Toyota, it said.

A Toyota representative said the report was not something that had been announced by the company.

The deal would come a month after Toyota and another smaller Japanese automaker, Suzuki Motor Corp (T:), said they would take small equity stakes in each other.

Such tie-ups highlight how automakers are scrambling to chase scale, manage costs and boost development.

Traditional car makers, especially smaller ones like Subaru and Suzuki, are struggling to meet the fast pace of change in an industry being transformed by the rise of electric vehicles, ride hailing and autonomous driving.

Toyota, Japan’s top automaker, seems to be particularly keen to build scale now by investing in smaller, domestic automakers, rather than forging cross-border tie-ups like some of its rivals.

Shares of Toyota were down 0.9% while shares of Subaru fell 1.5% on Friday morning.

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