Ford President and CEO Alan Mullaly was in Japan again, this time speaking to the media. During his time abroad, he talked about the desire to partner with Toyota even more closely on the development of new technologies. Ford has been licensing Toyota hybrid technology patents for years, currently employed in the Escape and Mariner hybrids.
The costs involved in developing these alternative technologies is huge. Ford, thusly, is doing the prudent thing, seeking a partner for this expenditure. And Toyota is definitely a company to reckon with on the subject. Future projects would likely include additional hybrids and fuel cells, which have, to this point, been out of the picture. We reported about Mullaly meeting with Toyota Chairman Fujio Cho as soon as he landed the top job in Dearborn back in December 2006. So that's why he was in Japan, duh!

Mulally also made it clear that snuggling up to Toyota shouldn't be taken as a statement about their relationship with Mazda. It had been rumored that Ford might sell its share of Mazda to raise some cash, but Mulally confirmed that Ford is committed to its role as the top shareholder of Mazda, as announced last month.

[Source: TheAutoChannel via AutoblogGreen]

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