Japanese automaker Suzuki Motor Corp and "flying car" firm SkyDrive Inc said on Tuesday they have signed a deal to team up in research, development and marketing of electric, vertical takeoff and landing aircraft.
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 ($1.37 billion) 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 currently 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.