Toyota and BMW have reportedly begun discussions on swapping their signature green technologies. The Japanese automaker would open up its hybrid tech to BMW, while the Germans would provide diesel engines for Toyotas. This is a little different than the recent memorandum of understanding signed between Ford and Toyota, since that partnership – if it comes to fruition – would see both companies jointly developing a hybrid system for trucks.

The BMW and Toyota talks are about swapping tech to save money on "core technologies." BMW's gain would be in the U.S., where hybrids are still much more in vogue than in Europe, while Toyota's interest is in shoring up its diesel position in Europe, where hybrids aren't yet the thing and the company posted a loss through the first half of the year. For instance, of the eight family cars that Toyota sells in the UK, only three can be had with a diesel.

Only talks have begun, so there's no official deal in place while Toyota works to see if BMW diesels will fit in its cars. One also has to wonder how managers at Lexus would feel about seeing their hybrid tech behind a roundel badge.

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