Suzuki, SkyDrive to jointly start producing flying cars in 2024

Suzuki Motor Corp. said Tuesday it has agreed with Japanese start-up SkyDrive Inc. to jointly start producing flying cars around the spring of 2024 as it aims to take the lead in the growing industry.

Flying cars are a type of aircraft with the ability to vertically take off and land using multiple rotors. The vehicles are typically meant for carrying a small number of people, with some models also equipped for use on land.

SkyDrive will set up a fully-owned production subsidiary that will assemble vehicles utilizing the Suzuki group's plant in Shizuoka Prefecture, central Japan.

The announcement comes a day after SkyDrive, a leading flying car start-up in Japan, unveiled at the Paris Airshow a plan to change the design of its vehicle under development so it can carry three people instead of two.

The new design, which has an overall length of about 13 meters and a height of 3 meters, will extend the maximum flight range to about 15 kilometers from the current 10 km.

SkyDrive and Suzuki announced a tie-up in the area of flying vehicles in March 2022, but the details of the collaboration have been under discussion.

The automaker said in September it has acquired an undisclosed stake in the venture.

SkyDrive, set up by former Toyota Motor Corp. engineers in 2018, is aiming to utilize its flying vehicles at the 2025 World Exposition in Osaka.

Flying cars are one of the fastest growing segments in mobility, with companies such as Toyota and Japan Airlines Co. entering the market through start-ups that have development capabilities.

© Kyodo News