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23
March
2022

Japan’s Suzuki teams up with SkyDrive to make flying cars

Japanese carmaker Suzuki Motor  and flying car firm SkyDrive said on Tuesday they have signed a deal to team up in research, development and marketing of electric, vertical take-off and landing

In a joint statement, the two companies said they will also work to open up new markets with an initial focus on India, where Suzuki has a roughly half share of the auto market. Suzuki announced on Sunday it plans to invest 104.4-billion rupees ($1.37bn) in its India factory to produce electric vehicles and batteries.

The companies didn’t disclose details of investments in their partnership, nor outline any production timetable or target.

Founded in 2018, Tokyo-headquartered SkyDrive counts big Japan businesses like trading house Itochu Corp, tech firm NEC Corp and a unit of energy company Eneos Holdings Inc among its main shareholders. In 2020 it raised 5.1 billion yen ($42 million) in total in Series B funds, according to its website

SkyDrive is engaged in the development of a compact, two-seating electric-powered flying car with plans for full-scale production. The statement did not say whether Suzuki would be working on this specific vehicle.

The company, which is also developing cargo drones, aims to launch a flying car service in Osaka in 2025 when the Japanese city hosts the World Expo.

For Suzuki, the partnership will add flying cars as a fourth mobility business, in addition to automobiles, motorcycles and outboard motors, the statement said.

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