You might think that automakers always have one another in the crosshairs. But it turns out there can be opportunities for collaboration, especially when it comes to advanced technology and bringing it to the public sooner and more affordably than one automaker could do alone. Case in point? Ford and Toyota, the two leading manufacturers of hybrid vehicles, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the intent to jointly develop a hybrid system for light trucks and SUVs.
The two will potentially bring the best of their independently developed hybrid powertrain technology and knowledge to a new co-developed hybrid system, which may be used in rear-wheel-drive light trucks. Ford and Toyota have been working separately 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.
While the proposed rear-wheel-drive hybrid system may 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.
“This is the kind of collaborative effort that is required to address the big global challenges of energy independence and environmental sustainability,” said Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally.
In addition, as telematics plays an increasingly more important role in the in-car experience, both companies have also 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.
“We have unique and very good solutions today with SYNC® and MyFord Touch™. Working together on in-vehicle standards can only enhance our customers’ experience with their vehicles,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford Group Vice President, Global Product Development.
Have questions about this agreement and what it means? Click here to read Ford Answers Questions about the Collaboration Between Ford and Toyota on theFordStory.com.