Ford, Toyota reach agreement to build a hybrid system for light trucks

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 23, 2011

An agreement has been reached between Ford Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. for the joint development of hybrid technology for light trucks. The next step after the memorandum of understanding is inked would be the signing of the formal deal next year. The rear-wheel drive SUVs of Ford and Toyota will receive the new hybrid system first.

It will be used on light trucks later in the decade. Ford and Toyota will also be collaborating to develop next-generation telematics and other in-vehicle Internet-based services.

Derrick Kuzak, Ford's vice president of product development, said that the two global leaders’ capabilities will be brought together to “develop a better solution more quickly,” a move that will also make the system more affordable to its customers.

Kuzak reveals that the work will be done at the research facilities of the two companies in various countries. He said that so far, these are the only cooperation plans and there are no current plans for the cooperation to deepen.

The financial details were not revealed and the specific models that are covered by the cooperation were also not identified.

According to Takeshi Uchiyamada, a Toyota executive vice president, the automaker will be even more competitive in the production of “great cars.” He said that Toyota anticipates the creation of “exciting and socially beneficial technologies” with Ford, a goal that he believes could be achieved based on the experience of the two companies. He said that with these capabilities, Ford and Toyota will be able to come up with a “synergy effect in hybrid technology and in telematics.”

When it comes to hybrid technology, Ford has long been one of the forerunners. This is in addition to leading the industry when it comes to trucks and sport-utility vehicles. As such, Toyota revealed that it is more than honoured to start a partnership with Ford. The world is already starting to transform given the advances in communications and information technology. Automobiles need to keep up with this progress and thus Toyota reveals that it needs to determine how to make sure that cars maintain their societal value in the current century.

In particular, both communications and information technology will have a large part to play in future transport as vehicles may eventually be no longer the self-contained units that they are. Instead, vehicles will become part of a bigger interaction in relation to other vehicles as well as the entire transport infrastructure.

Toyota believes that cars will play a new role in everyday life and that they will be the partners for people to attain a more fulfilling lifestyle. The groundwork for these different changes is known as telematics technologies and Toyota has long been able to commercialize a number of these technologies in preparation for the transformation that is in telematics. In 1998 for example, Toyota launched Gazoo which is an automotive portal site. By 2002, Toyota started to offer its G-Book telematics service. For the U.S. market in particular, the company launched its easy-to-use and accessible Entune. Through its experience and knowledge, the company wants to deliver better telematics services moving forward.

For the future, electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles will become connected to the energy infrastructure and home energy systems. This will increase the total energy efficiency and result in motoring lifestyle becoming more satisfying. In fact, Ford has been creating telematics systems for this very same purpose. As such, with Toyota being able to share its knowledge, the two companies will be able to change what is considered a dream into a reality. Toyota shared that in partnership with Ford, it hopes to build technologies that are both exciting and will benefit society. This is possible since the two companies have the needed experience between them to build an interaction between telematics and hybrid technology.

The two will also ensure that they will continue the practice of making great cars and their competitive nature will make sure that customers will experience the maximum benefits. Hopefully this partnership between Ford and Toyota will prove to be beneficial to the U.S. as it will also start a new page in the automobile history. According to Toyota Motor Corporation Executive Vice President Takeshi Uchiyamada, as an engineer, he will be more than happy to see this collaboration reach those goals. There are still a lot of details that need to be worked out but the company will reveal these in the future, he added. Until that time, he continued, the company is thankful for the understanding and interest.

Press Release

Ford/Toyota Collaboration - Takeshi Uchiyamada

Thank you, Mr. Kuzak. We have just signed a memorandum of understanding for collaboration with Ford. Both companies will now begin making preparations for joint work on new technologies. We are counting on those technologies to benefit customers in the United States and around the world.

It has been more than hundred years since the first car was born, and our industry is now facing several challenges. Offering safe cars is a given for any automaker, but one can say the greatest challenges are “conserving energy” and “reducing greenhouse gas.”

Toyota achieved a breakthrough in these challenges in nineteen ninety-seven (1997). That is when we launched the first-generation Prius as the world’s first mass-production gasoline-electric hybrid.

Since then, we have begun producing hybrid vehicles in the United States, China, Europe, Australia, and Thailand, as well as in Japan. We have sold about three-point-three (3.3) million hybrid vehicles in about eighty (80) nations.

Our collaboration with Ford is a move to make hybrid technology more widely available in sport-utility vehicles and in trucks. Those kinds of models are indispensable to American customers. And providing them with our hybrid technology will help conserve energy and reduce output of greenhouse gas here in the United States. That was our thinking in considering the collaboration.

Ford was also a pioneer in developing hybrid technology. And it is a traditional leader in sport-utility vehicles and in trucks. So we are extremely honored to be undertaking preparations for joint work with Ford.

We need to think carefully about how to ensure that cars remain valuable to society in their second century. Great advances in information technology and in communications are transforming the world.
And automobiles need to be part of those advances.

Information technology and communications will play a big role in future transport. Vehicles will no longer be self-contained units. They will be part of a larger interaction with other vehicles and with the transport infrastructure.

Cars will fulfill a new role in people’s lives. We at Toyota believe that cars can and will become partners in more-fulfilling lifestyles.

The foundation for the changes that I am describing will be telematics technologies. We at Toyota have commercialized several technologies in anticipation of the coming revolution in telematics. For example, we launched our Gazoo automotive portal site in nineteen ninety-eight (1998). And we began offering our G-Book telematics service in two thousand two (2002). 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 going forward.

In the future, plug-in hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles will be connected with home energy systems, and with energy infrastructure. That will help raise overall energy efficiency, and motoring lifestyles will become more rewarding.

Ford has also been building telematics systems and for the same reasons. By sharing our know-how and experience, we can transform what is considered as a “dream” into “practical reality.”

In closing, let me sum up my thoughts on this collaboration.

We expect to create exciting and socially beneficial technologies with Ford, and we can do so because our 2 companies have enough experience to create a synergy effect in hybrid technology and in telematics.

At the same time, we will compete harder than ever in the spirit of “making great cars.” Our competitive stance will help maximize benefits for customers and for society at large.

We are counting on this collaboration between Toyota and Ford to benefit American society and to open a new page in the history of the world automobile industry. As an engineer, I will be deeply gratified to see us fulfill those aims.

We have a lot of details to work out with Ford before we can tell you more about our collaboration.
In the meantime, we are grateful for your interest and understanding.

Topics: ford, toyota, hybrid

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