Kyodo News Agency
NEW YORK: Ford Motor Co. President and Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally expressed a positive view about strengthening its alliance with Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp. in the field of environment-friendly hybrid vehicles.
Mulally is of the view that bolstering an alliance in the area of environmental-friendly technology like fuel cells would be beneficial for Ford Motor and Toyota.
“I anticipate that the automobile manufacturers will increase their collaboration and their partnership on developing the enabling technology for even more fuel-efficient vehicles going forward,” he said. “It is a kind of natural thing for all of us to do, to accelerate the development of the enabling technologies.”
The two automakers signed a licensing agreement in 2004 allowing Ford to use Toyota’s hybrid system control technology patents for its hybrid system.
Developing such technologies requires huge costs, and is widely viewed as essential for future development of motor vehicle manufacturers.The current tie-up between Toyota and General Motors Corp. excludes fuel cell technology.
Toyota’s Chairman Fujio Cho held talks with Mulally in December in Tokyo, a move that was seen by some industry analysts as spelling a fresh move towards a global reconfiguration of the auto industry.
During the interview, Mulally said he has no specific plans to meet Cho at present. He added, however, “I look forward to regular exchanges with the Toyota leadership team.”