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Last week, Toyota Motor Corp. President Katsuaki Watanabe (pictured) said at a news conference that Japan's largest automaker may be willing to partner with other automakers to assist in technologies with which they may be having difficulties. "There is the adequate possibility that we (Toyota) will form various types of alliances with others," he said, "if an automaker faces difficulties in meeting these needs single-handedly."

He did not state with which automakers Toyota might consider such alliances, though he did mention environmental, safety and telecommunications technologies as the areas of interest. AutoMK has reported on one such alliance between General Motors and Toyota on safety development.

Is Toyota being compassionate considering the lending of assistance to less financially fortunate companies? Or perhaps is that what the Japanese giant wants us to think.
 

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Toyota has made these types of comments in the past realizing that this doesn't mean "giving away" information or technology. It isn't a one way street either as other auto manufacturers have technology which Toyota wouldn't mind having access to. For example, GM has come a long way with mileage in their big SUVs such as the Tahoe. Even Honda's little pilot gets crappy mileage according to a neighbor of mine that recently sold his in favor of a hybrid Ford Escape. Ford's little hybrid setup os quite a ticket for small SUVs especially if driven a lot in the city.

In one of their previous press releases a year or so ago they made the comment that they felt maintaining a healthy competitiveness amongst manufacturers was good for everyone. Whether or not they really mean it, I certainly don't think it will hurt anyone.
 

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Toyota has in the past made available certain technologies to competitors and this is likely a continuation of that policy. Ford and Nissan both use an older version of Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive system in the Escape and Altima respectively. The catch is that they are using Generation 1 or 2 components while Toyota products are currently using the Gen 3 and getting ready to launch the Gen 4 sometime next year. It is not a charity program either as Toyota gets paid for the rights and any components.

This being said, GM is involved with BMW, Mercedes and Chrysler on their two mode hybrid systems too. My feeling is that sooner or later a decision will need to be made on a standard hybrid sytem - kind of like BluRay or HD DVD.
 
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