Toyota, Ford join forces for hybrids

Aug. 22, 2011 at 4:55 PM
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DEARBORN, Mich., Aug. 22 (UPI) -- Ford Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. said Monday they had agreed to form a research partnership to bring hybrid technology to larger vehicles.

The companies also said they would work together on vehicle communication systems that will "center around WiFi circuitry and protocols for connectivity for all phones," said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president of global product development, the Detroit Free Press reported.

The concept is to bring electric hybrid technology to light trucks and sports utility vehicles that often carry heavy loads and to create on-board computer systems that are safe to use and do not distract drivers, The Detroit News reported.

"Over time, more vehicles will be electrified," said Kuzak, who pointed out by 2020 up to 25 percent of the new cars on the road will have some electric system as part of their power trains.

The two companies began talks in April after what was chance meeting between Chief Executive Officers Alan Mulally and Akio Toyoda in an airport.

At the airport, the two CEOs exchanged business cards.

"The first phase will include a feasibility study where we define the scope and content of the partnership," Kuzak said.

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