Toyota and Ford collaborate on hybrid engine

26th August 2011


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Two of the world's largest car makers are to work together to develop a new hybrid engine for small trucks and utilities vehicles.

American car giant Ford and Japanese industry leader Toyota have signed a memorandum of understanding cementing the collaboration, saying that by working together rather than competing they will be able to produce a new hybrid engine quicker and cheaper.

“This is the kind of collaborative effort that is required to address the big global challenges of energy independence and environmental sustainability,” said Alan Mulally, Ford president and CEO, in announcing the new partnership.

Takeshi Uchiyamada, Toyota’s executive vice-president of research and development, said: “We expect to create exciting technologies that benefit society with Ford, and we can do so through the experience the two companies have in hybrid technology.”

The two firms had both been working on hybrid rear-wheel-drive systems to improve the fuel efficiency of vans and SUVs, before they agreed to work together.

The news was swiftly followed by an announcement from competitor General Motors that it had signed an agreement with electronics manufacturer LG to jointly design electronic vehicles.

“Many solutions for tomorrow’s transportation needs may be available more quickly by building on our partnership strategy,” said GM vice-chairman Steve Girsky.

“Consumers benefit by getting the latest fuel-saving technology faster if we work with the best suppliers and we save time and money in the development process.”

The new partnership builds on LG’s current role as battery supplier for two of the General Motors’ electric cars, the Chevrolet Volt and Opel Ampera.

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