Toyota has agreed to buy an 8.7 percent stake in Japanese automaker Fuji Heavy Industries from General Motors Corp. for $310.5 million, officials from both companies said Wednesday, in a deal that will make Toyota the top shareholder in the company that makes Subaru cars.
GM and Fuji agreed to dissolve their alliance and capital relationship, said Toyota executive vice president Mitsuo Kinoshita and Fuji Heavy President Kyoji Takenaka at a joint news conference. GM will sell its remaining 11.4 percent stake in Fuji in the market.
Toyota Motor Corp. and Fuji are setting up a steering committee to try to reach an agreement on future collaboration as soon as possible, the companies said.
Toyota has been on a roll lately, boosting sales in North America, Europe and other parts of Asia and recording booming profits. GM, based in Detroit, has been in trouble, losing $1.1 billion in the first quarter.
GM and Toyota have a long-standing partnership to share environmental technology, and they run a car assembly plant in California together, although the ties do not involve holding stakes in each other.
Toyota Chairman Hiroshi Okuda has expressed worries lately about a possible political backlash from U.S. automakers because of Toyota’s bright results at a time when GM and Ford are faltering.
He even suggested Toyota raise the price of car models in the United States. Toyota raised prices soon after, but denied the move was to placate U.S. automakers.
Toyota, based in central Japan’s Toyota city, holds stakes in two other Japanese automakers, Daihatsu Motor Co., which makes small cars, and Hino Motors, which makes trucks.