Ford-Toyota Partnership Ended, Ford Develops Hybrid Trucks On Its Own image

Ford and Toyota put an end to their partnership to develop hybrid SUVs and pickup trucks, after almost two years of studying the possibilities of such a deal.

Ford, which manufactures the best-selling F-150 pickup truck, will work on its own rear-wheel drive hybrid system for SUVs and trucks, which is expected to hit the market by the end of the decade.

“Both parties brought some significant insight to their portion of the project,” said Raj Nair, head of global product development in an interview. He said both companies were “pleased with the ability to progress separately.”

Toyota and Ford will continue developing “next-generation” standards for on-board entertainment, navigation and phone. The two automakers announced their partnership in August 2011, saying that they will develop larger hybrid vehicles, aimed at helping them meet the tough US future economy rules, which will be implemented in the following years.

Toyota has been the leader of the global hybrid market since 1997 when it introduced the Prius sedan. During the first half of the year the Japanese automaker accounted for almost two-thirds of the US hybrid market.

This year so far Ford managed to expand in the US hybrid market thanks to increased demand for its C-Max and Fusion hybrids. During the first six months of the year Ford accounted for 15% of the US hybrid market , an increase from 3% during the same period in 2012.

Source: Reuters