BEIJING (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp said on Thursday it is in talks with Chinese automaker Geely about cooperation in gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle technology, but nothing has been decided on the matter.
The Toyota logo is shown at the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California, U.S., November 30, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake
The move comes as Japan’s biggest automaker has been increasingly embracing new automotive technologies for future growth, and has also embarked on a strategy to ramp up sales in China, the world’s biggest auto market.
Toyota said in a statement to Reuters that it and Geely are currently “communicating with each other” about gasoline-electric hybrid technology.
It was not immediately clear in what aspects of the hybrid technology Geely and Toyota are discussing cooperating.
A person familiar with the matter, however, said that the talks apparently involve a Chinese supplier of electric battery technology both companies have already been associated with but separately. Toyota declined to comment on the specifics of the cooperation.
“Toyota has been conducting the business with the open policy which also applies to the area of electrification technologies. The relationship with Geely (Toyota is exploring) is also based on this open policy,” the statement said.
Toyota’s response comes after a Chinese media report said Geely was working with Toyota on the conventional hybrid technology. The report said details on the joint effort would be announced soon.
A Geely spokesman declined to comment.
Toyota, which bet big on gasoline-electric hybrid technology in the late 1990s when it began selling the Prius hybrid, has since localized production of conventional hybrid cars in China and has been selling them here since 2015 under the Corolla and Levin names.
The company has said it plans to sell plug-in hybrid versions of the Corolla and the Levin next year.
Reporting By Norihiko Shirouzu; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman
BERLIN (Reuters) – German premium brand Audi on Tuesday said it plans to sell about 800,000 battery-electric and hybrid powered cars in 2025, as it seeks to catch up with electric car rival Tesla and emerge from a damaging emissions-cheating scandal.
The logo of the German car manufacturer Audi is pictured at the training center during a media tour in San Jose Chilapa, Mexico April 19, 2018. REUTERS/Henry Romero
Audi’s image has been tarnished by regulatory probes investigating what role its engineers may have played in designing engine management software to cheat modern emissions tests.
Audi will launch more than 20 electrified vehicles by 2025 thanks to an ability for using parent Volkswagen’s (VOWG_p.DE) new MEB modular platform and vehicle underpinnings jointly developed with premium sibling Porsche, it said.
That’s slightly more ambitious than the 20 electrified vehicles Audi had previously guided for. Audi said it would launch the cars without undermining its 8-10 percent operating margin target.
Audi declined to provide details about how many fully battery electric, and how many hybrid cars it will sell by 2025. Last year, it sold about 16,000 semi-electric vehicles and it still lacks a fully electric model in its lineup.
The Ingolstadt, Germany-based brand, which delivered 1.88 million cars globally in 2017 currently offers three plug-in hybrid vehicles.
In August, Audi will launch the e-tron sport utility vehicle, its first serial all-electric model.
Demand for large sports utility vehicles has helped make Audi Volkswagen’s main profit driver.
On Tuesday Germany’s Transport Ministry said the KBA vehicle authority was investigating a further 60,000 diesel-engined Audi cars for suspected illegal manipulation software which may have helped the carmaker cheat emissions tests.
To fund its electric-vehicle offensive through to the middle of the next decade, Audi has extended by three years until 2025, an investment program worth about 40 billion euros ($ 47.42 billion), it said.
To free up funds for its electric-car push Audi is ceasing production of some models, including two-door versions of its A1 and A3 vehicle lines, as well as cutting component and administration costs. It now aims to save at least 10 billion euros by 2022.
($ 1 = 0.8435 euros)
Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by Edward Taylor
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