GM, DaimlerChrysler and BMW announced they will spend more than $1 billion combined to develop a shared hybrid-electric powertrain to compete with hybrid
leader Toyota. While the three way partnership has been around for a few years, investment amounts were not disclosed until now. The investment cost includes at least $300 million for the development of a transmission. The $1 billion combined investment is about half of what Toyota officials have said it spent on hybrid research in the 1990's, leading to worldwide sales of more than 600,000 hybrids worldwide. While GM, DCX and BMW are hoping the joint development of their hybrid system will cut cost, Toyota is moving forward itself by trying to cut the cost of its hybrid components by 50 percent. Toyota has also licensed the technology to Ford, and is supplying components to Nissan for its hybrid Altima sedan, which goes on sale in 2007.