Ford, Toyota To Collaborate On Hybrid Truck
RENEE MONTAGNE, host:
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.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.