Ford Motor Company and Toyota Motor Corporation - the world's two leading manufacturers of hybrid vehicles - today announced they will equally collaborate on the development of an advanced new hybrid system for light truck and SUV customers.
Ford and Toyota have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the
product development collaboration, with the formal agreement expected by
Both companies have been working independently on their own
future-generation rear-wheel drive hybrid systems. The two now have
committed to collaborate as equal partners on a new hybrid system for
light trucks and SUVs. This new hybrid powertrain will bring the full
hybrid experience of greater fuel efficiency to a new group of truck and
SUV customers without compromising the capability they require in their
vehicles. Ford and Toyota believe that their collaboration will allow
them to bring these hybrid technologies to customers sooner and more
affordably than either company could have accomplished alone.
"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," said Derrick Kuzak, Ford
group vice president, Global Product Development. "Ford achieved a
breakthrough with the Ford Fusion Hybrid
, and we intend to do this again
for a new group of truck and SUV buyers - customers we know very well."
Takeshi Uchiyamada, Toyota executive vice president, Research &
Development, said: "In 1997, we launched the first-generation Prius
world's first mass-produced gasoline-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."
The two companies also agreed to work together on enablers to complement
each company's existing telematics platform standards, helping bring
more Internet-based services and useful information to consumers
Under the MOU agreement, the two companies will bring the best of their
independently developed hybrid powertrain technology and knowledge to a
new co-developed hybrid system, which will be used in rear-wheel-drive
light trucks arriving later this decade. Specifically, Ford and Toyota
-Jointly develop as equal partners a new rear-wheel drive hybrid system and component technology for light trucks and SUVs
-Independently integrate the new hybrid system in their future vehicles separately
For years, both Ford and Toyota have been working independently on
similar new rear-wheel-drive hybrid systems aimed at delivering higher
fuel economy in light trucks and SUVs. When the two companies began
discussing this potential collaboration, they discovered how quickly
they were able to find common ground.
"By working together, we will be able to serve our customers with the
very best affordable, advanced powertrains, delivering even better fuel
economy," said Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally. "This is the kind of
collaborative effort that is required to address the big global
challenges of energy independence and environmental sustainability."
Toyota President Akio Toyoda added: "Toyota is extremely proud to join
Ford in developing a hybrid system for pickup trucks and SUVs. Not only
is this tie-up clearly one aimed at making automobiles ever better, it
should also become an important building block for future mobility in
the U.S. By building a global, long-term relationship with Ford, our
desire is to be able to continue to provide people in America
automobiles that exceed their expectations."
This rear-wheel-drive hybrid system will be based on an all-new
architecture to deliver the capability truck and SUV customers demand
while providing greater fuel economy.
While the rear-wheel-drive hybrid system will share significant common
technology and components, Ford and Toyota will individually integrate
the system into their own vehicles. Each company also will determine the
calibration and performance dynamics characteristics of their
respective light pickups and SUVs.
In addition, as telematics
plays an increasingly more important role in
the in-car experience, both companies have agreed to collaborate on
standards and technologies needed to enable a safer, more secure and
more convenient in-car experience for next-generation telematics
systems. The telematics collaboration relates only to standards and
technologies, and each company will continue to separately develop their
own in-vehicle products and features.
"Ford has made tremendous progress in the area of telematics," Kuzak
said. "We have unique and very good solutions today with SYNC and
MyFordTouch. Working together on in-vehicle standards can only enhance
our customers' experience with their vehicles."
Uchiyamada added: "Toyota has also invested heavily in telematics in
various countries around the world, with services like the G-BOOK and
G-Link. In the U.S., we have just introduced the accessible, easy-to-use
Entune. By sharing our know-how and experience, we would like to offer
even better telematics services in the future."
So, what do you think about this unlikely dream team?
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