Ford, Toyota To Collaborate On Hybrid Truck

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Ford Motor Company and Toyota say they'll remain tough competitors even though they are working together to develop a fuel-efficient, affordable hybrid truck.

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Ford Motor Company and Toyota say they will still be rivals, even though they're teaming up to develop more fuel-efficient and affordable hybrid trucks. The partnership could help both companies compete against a common rival, as Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton reports.

TRACY SAMILTON: Toyota has the Prius, the best-selling hybrid car in the U.S. Ford has hybrid cars, too, and it has the F-series truck, the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. But as J.D. Power's Michael Omotoso points out, neither company has a hybrid technology suitable for big SUVs and trucks.

Mr. MICHAEL OMOTOSO (J.D. Power & Associates): Unlike GM, that has hybrid version of the Tahoe, Yukon, Escalade, as well as their pickups, the Sierra and Chevy Silverado.

SAMILTON: Although it has to be noted that GM's hybrid SUVS and trucks aren't exactly flying off dealer lots.

Mr. OMOTOSO: Mainly because of the reduced towing capacity of the hybrid versus the non-hybrid.

SAMILTON: Not to mention the price difference. A base Silverado is $21,000, the hybrid version, more than $38,000. That's a big premium to pay for being green.

Ford and Toyota say they hope pairing up will help them producer a hybrid truck that combines performance and affordability. The two companies also plan to collaborate on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology in their vehicles.

For NPR News, I'm Tracy Samilton in Ann Arbor.

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