TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION (Toyota) and NISSAN MOTOR CO., LTD. (Nissan) have concluded a basic agreement on the long-term, continuous transaction of hybrid systems including technical cooperation. This agreement was made possible by both companies having found common ground in terms of philosophy and outlook in their discussion on the future popularization of hybrid vehicles.
This agreement, aiming for a long-term business relationship of 10 years or longer, calls for Toyota to supply state-of-the-art hybrid system components to Nissan. In addition, aiming for long-term technological cooperation, both companies have also agreed to start exchanging information and discussing joint development of components related to hybrid systems that both Toyota and Nissan are currently developing independently.
As an initial project, Nissan will be installing a hybrid system currently under development by Toyota in Nissan’s vehicles to be sold in the United States in 2006. Volume is expected to reach approximately 100,000 units within a five-year period starting in 2006. The components for the hybrid system, such as the transaxle and inverter, will be developed by Toyota, while Nissan will conduct development of its own engine and application of the hybrid system on its own vehicle, which will have a direct impact on Nissan’s product.
Toyota was among the first automakers to introduce hybrid vehicles to its lineup, with the launch of the Prius in 1997. It is now the world’s biggest seller of hybrid vehicles, with cumulative sales of 120,000 units of the Prius, Coaster Hybrid (since 1997), Estima Hybrid (since 2001) and Crown Mild Hybrid (since 2001). With the strong belief that environmentally friendly technologies, such as hybrid systems, should be widely available, Toyota has been developing and expanding the use of such technologies in its product lineup, and, at the same time, has stated its intentions to make such technologies available to other car manufacturers upon request.
Nissan has also been actively promoting effective environmental related technologies in its products, such as the promotion of Ultra Low-Emission Vehicles (U-LEV), which were first introduced in its Bluebird Sylphy and Sentra CA models, making them the cleanest gasoline-fueled vehicles in the world. As for hybrid vehicles, the company sold a limited number of Tino Hybrid models in 2000 and created a department to deal exclusively with the improvement of fuel efficiency, including hybrid technology, in February 2001.
The major advantages of hybrid vehicles as environmentally friendly vehicles are low CO2 emission and cleaner exhaust gas. With the ongoing improvement in driving performance, the demand for hybrid vehicles as attractive vehicles for the 21st century is expanding. The two companies expect that this collaboration will contribute further decreasing the cost of hybrid-vehicle components, which should lead to boosting the sales of hybrid vehicles around the world.
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