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Fri, Jul 17, 2009 - Page 10 News List

Toyota and Mazda in talks over hybrid technology: ‘Nikkei’

AP , TOKYO

Toyota is in talks with Mazda about providing its key hybrid technology in a tie-up, Japan’s top business daily reported yesterday.

Both automakers said no decision has been made.

Toyota Motor Corp, the world’s leader in hybrids with the Prius, reiterated yesterday it sees boosting global hybrid sales as important and will consider any request from automakers to share its green technology.

“But there has been no decision on a policy to offer hybrid systems to Mazda,” Toyota spokesman Paul Nolasco said.

Mazda Motor Corp, which does not have its own hybrid system, denied the story as “a reporter’s speculation.”

Its stance of making more ecological gas-engine cars and working on its own green technology is unchanged, it said.

“Nothing has been decided on tie-ups at this point,” Mazda said in a statement.

The Nikkei Shimbun, Japan’s top business daily, reported in its yesterday editions that Toyota and Mazda were in the final stages of talking about a possible tie-up in hybrids, under which Toyota would supply Mazda the key components of its hybrid system, including the battery, motor and electronics parts.

That would allow Mazda to start selling hybrids under its own brand as early as 2013, with an annual sales target of 100,000 vehicles, the Nikkei said, without citing sources as is common with Japanese newspapers.

Speculation has been rife that Mazda may want new tie-ups after its longtime alliance partner Ford Motor Co sold much of its 33.4 percent stake in Mazda last year to gain cash amid troubled times.

Ford still owns about 13.8 percent of Hiroshima-based Mazda, Japan’s fourth biggest automaker, and they still maintain some cooperative ties.

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