Ford Motor Company and Toyota Motor Corporation, the world's two leading manufacturers of hybrid vehicles, have announced they are to collaborate as equal partners on the development of an advanced new hybrid system for pick-ups (light trucks) and SUVs.
The two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding, with a formal agreement expected to be in place by next year.
Both have been working independently on their own future-generation rear-wheel drive hybrid systems and have now committed to working together to develop a new hybrid powertrain that will bring the benefits of hybrid to new customer groups, without compromising the capabilities customers require of their vehicles. Ford and Toyota believe that by working together they can deliver these hybrid technologies to customers sooner and more affordably than if they worked alone.
Derrick Kuzack, Ford Group President, Global Product Development, said: "This agreement brings together the capability of two global leaders in hybrid vehicles and hybrid technology to develop a better solution more quickly and affordably for our customers."
Takeshi Uchiyamada, Toyota Executive Vice President, Research and Development, said: "In 1997, we launched the first-generation Prius, the world's first mass-produced petrol-electric hybrid. Since then, we have sold about 3.3 million hybrid vehicles. 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."