What could Toyota possibly want to do with the Detroit Riverfront? The stretch of land that includes the GM Renaissance Center's backyard was the recipient of a generous $2 million gift from Toyota Friday morning via the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, one of GM's favorite causes. The money will go toward the redevelopment of the land, which had gone by the wayside with much of the rest of Detroit before its recent revitalization.

While it might sound like Toyota is rubbing GM's nose in its current success, both companies insist the donation is actually a nice gesture. The gift is actually Toyota's attempt to repay a favor -- namely, GM's support of the World Exposition in Toyota's hometown that was chaired by Toyota's top exec at the time, Fujio Cho. For the expo, the American automaker donated heavily to the $20-million U.S. pavilion and exhibited its AUTOnomy fuel-cell car there.

In response, Cho asked GM chairman Rick Wagoner what Toyota could do to repay the favor, and Wagoner urged Toyota to give to the Conservancy. Thanks to the cooperation between two rival automakers, the Detroit Riverfront will be a more beautiful place.

[Source: Detroit Free Press]


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