Today, Toyota and Isuzu announced a collaboration which will be made possible by the former purchasing a 5.9 percent stake (100 million shares) in the latter. The two companies said in a public statement that the deal will allow them to work together in the research and development in three areas of green car technology. According to Automotive News (subscription required), Isuzu will take the lead in the development of small diesel engines and diesel emissions control while Toyota spearheads alternative-fuel drivetrains and environmental technologies for gas engines.

It seems as though most of the industry can't help but see an impending omen in the announcement. Just seven months ago, GM sold off the entirety of its stake (7.9 percent) in Isuzu in an effort to focus on falling profits in North America. And now, as Toyota makes one of GM's old alliances its own, the Japanese giant also gears up in an attempt to overtake GM as the world's number one automaker.

There's currently no word on the price of the deal, but it should hover somewhere around $354 million. "You have my word on it."

[Source: Associated Press via International Herald Tribune]

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