Toyota Denies Reports of Sharing Hybrid Technology with GM

May 08, 2005 by Jeff Shepard

Toyota Motor Corp. (Nagoya, Japan) reported that it was willing to discuss sharing its hybrid vehicle technology with rivals, including US automaker General Motors Corp. (GM). However, the two automakers denied they were already in talks after an online news report surfaced, which said the two automakers were in talks about a possible technology-sharing pact that could result in a quicker, wider offering of hybrid vehicles.

"If another company — not just GM but other automakers too — were to express an interest in the technology, we would not turn that down. We would be willing to open discussions," Toyota Chairman Hiroshi Okuda was quoted as saying. Toyota spokesman Tomomi Imai denied that Toyota and GM were already in talks.

The Wall Street Journal's online site reported that details of the discussions were unclear, but that GM Chairman and Chief Executive Rick Wagoner was planning to head to Japan this month to meet with top Toyota officials. GM spokesman Scott Fosgard stated that Wagoner planned a visit this month to the 2005 World Expo in Aichi, where Toyota is based, but that it was a brief visit to the fair and had nothing to do with talks with Toyota. "It's a short in-and-out trip," Fosgard said. He also denied anyone else at GM was holding such talks.