Ford and Toyota Developing New Hybrid Systems


To giant car maker form Japan and America have joined forces to develop a new generation of hybrid powertrains with focus on pickups and SUVs.

The two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding, with a formal agreement expected to be in place by next year. System will be ready for market later this decade in Toyota and Ford rear-wheel drive models and results in improved fuel efficiency with no compromise in the capability customers demand.

The two car makers will also cooperate on developing next generation standards for in-car telematics and internet-based services. Both of them are also partners with Microsoft, so the new agreement is relevant.

Toyota A BAT Concept Ford and Toyota Developing New Hybrid Systems

Toyota press release:

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.

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.

“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 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.”

Ford and Toyota also agreed to work together in developing each company’s telematics standards, helping to makes more internet-based services and information available to customers around the world.

Under the memorandum of understanding, the two companies will specifically: -

  • Jointly develop, as equal partners, a new rear-wheel drive hybrid system and component technology for pick-ups and SUVs
  • Independently and separately integrate the new hybrid system in their future vehicles

Ford and Toyota have been working independently for years on similar rear-wheel drive hybrid systems with the aim of delivering higher fuel economy in pick-ups and SUVs. When they began discussing potential collaboration, they quickly found common ground.

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

Akio Toyota, Toyota President, said: “Toyota is extremely proud to join Ford in developing a hybrid system for pick-up 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 US.

“By building a global, long-term relationship with Ford, our desire is to be able to continue to provide people in America with automobiles that exceed their expectations.”

Although the hybrid system will share significant common technology and components, each company will determine the calibration and performance characteristics of their respective models which use the new powertrain.

In addition, both companies are to work together on developing next-generation telematics standards and technologies for safer, and more secure and convenient motoring. Each company will, however, continue to develop its own in-vehicle products and features.

Kuzak said: “Ford has made tremendous progress in telematics. We have unique and very good solutions today with SYNC and MyFordTouch. Working together on in-vehicle standards can only enhance our customers’ experience.”

Uchiyamada added: “Toyota has also invested heavily in telematics in various countries around the world, with services such as the G-BOOK and G-Link. In the USA, 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.”

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