Suzuki is considering joining the electric vehicle development company set up by Toyota and Mazda last month, according to Kyodo News based on people familiar with the matter.

Suzuki, which is big in small cars and has a market leading position in the growing Indian market, has been lagging in the development of next-generation vehicles for tightening emissions standards around the world, the report says.

Toyota and Suzuki agreed in February to start talks for a business partnership in areas such as environmental, safety and information technologies, so this latest development might be part of a grand plan for an alliance of sorts.

Last month, Toyota, Mazda and Denso, Toyota’s parts-making affiliate, entered into an agreement to jointly develop basic structural technologies for EVs. The three parties established a new company, EV CA Spirit, which will serve as a development centre for cooperative projects.

Its initial workforce of 40 personnel will include selected engineers from the three companies. In terms of equity participation, Toyota is providing the majority of the capital, with a 90% investment in the concern, with Mazda and Denso each contributing a 5% share.

The new JV company, which will be based in Nagoya, will undertake R&D of basic structural technologies for EVs, which will be capable of covering a wide variety of vehicle segments and types (from mini cars to passenger vehicles and light trucks), the idea being to ensure a flexible and rapid response to market trends.

The development on this front will combine the strengths of each company and incorporate Mazda’s bundled product planning and prowess in computer modeling-based development, Denso’s electronics technologies and Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform. The companies said that they will also be looking at creating a business structure that is open to participation by other automakers and suppliers.

Suzuki joining EV CA Spirit would be a win-win for all parties.