Toyota and Ford to collaborate on new hybrid system for light trucks and SUVs

W. Scott Bailey

Toyota Motor Corp. Toyota Motor Corp. Latest from The Business Journals Ford, Toyota will work together on hybrid system for trucksFord, Toyota join forces on hybrid system for trucksFord, Toyota will work together on hybrid system for trucks Follow this company and the Ford Motor Co. Ford Motor Co. Latest from The Business Journals Ford, Toyota will work together on hybrid system for trucksFord, Toyota join forces on hybrid system for trucksFord, Toyota will work together on hybrid system for trucks Follow this company have decided to drop their gloves and work together.

The two auto giants say they have agreed to collaborate on the development of an advanced new hybrid system for light trucks and sport utility vehicles (SUVs).

Toyota and Ford have signed a memorandum of understanding on the product-development collaboration. A formal agreement is expected by next year.

Toyota operates a vehicle assembly plant in San Antonio that produces Tundra and Tacoma pickup trucks.

The South Side facility employs about 2,800 workers.

Toyota and Ford have previously worked independently on their own future-generation rear-wheel drive hybrid systems. Their commitment to work in collaboration on a new hybrid system could prove to be a game-changer for both automakers and for the auto industry.

At a minimum, officials with both companies say their new hybrid powertrain will bring greater fuel efficiency to a new group of truck and SUV customers without compromising the capability they require in their vehicles.

And that technology could arrive sooner as a result of the collaboration.

“In 1997, we launched the first-generation Prius, the world’s first mass-produced gasoline-electric hybrid,” says Takeshi Uchiyamada, executive vice president of research and development for Toyota. “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 automaker’s existing telematics platform standards, helping bring more Internet-based services and useful information to consumers globally.

“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,” says Derrick Kuzak, group vice president of global product development for Ford.

“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 … ,” Kuzak adds.

Under the memorandum of understanding, 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.

The co-developed rear-wheel-drive hybrid system will be based on new architecture, as well as 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.

 

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