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Toyota Assesses R&D Partnership, Recalls 340K Prius Globally


Toyota Motor Corporation TM and Suzuki Motor Corporation have announced their joint decision to build a business partnership for developing technology to support their products in a rapidly evolving auto industry. Both companies intend to continue competing in a fair manner but collaborate in terms of research and development (R&D).

Suzuki, which primarily focuses on minivehicles, develops technologies to manufacture vehicles at competitive prices, while Toyota focuses its R&D on environment, safety, and information technology fields. Together the companies would be able to complement each other’s technological development requirements and solve their individual challenges. They intend to cultivate other automakers as business partners as well to help establish norms and standards in the auto industry.

Recently, Toyota also recalled 340,000 gas-electric hybrid Prius cars globally, including 212,000 in Japan and 94,000 in North America. These vehicles faced a defect in the parking brake cable as a result of which a car could start rolling and crash if left in any gear except park. The company was unaware of any accidents caused by this problem as of Oct 3.

The affected cars have been manufactured at the company’s Tsutsumi plant in Toyota city, Japan from Aug 2015 through Oct 2016. The owners of the affected vehicles will be contacted beginning next month.

Zacks Rank

Toyota currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Better-ranked companies in the auto space include The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company GT, Tata Motors Limited TTM and SORL Auto Parts, Inc. SORL, all sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Goodyear Tire has seen its earnings estimates move north over the last 60 days. Also, the company posted positive earnings surprises over the last four quarters, with an average of 10.28%.

Tata Motors has a long-term expected growth rate of 3.6%.

SORL Motor Parts has posted an average positive earnings surprise of 7.46% over the last four quarters.

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