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The Ford-Toyota hybrid truck that never was; not yet, anyway

Don't Sit Ford, Toyota Executives Next To Each Other At Holiday Parties

Two years ago, Ford and Toyota ended a two-year collaboration on what was to be a hybrid pickup truck. Not many details were provided at the time of the 2013 breakup. Now we learn from Automotive News that the divorce apparently wasn't – and still isn't – very pretty.

Toyota executive Koei Saga says the Japanese company regrets the partnership, which was originally announced in 2011. Saga says Toyota divulged a fair amount to Ford about what went into the hybrid technology that helped build the incredibly popular Prius hybrid line, while Ford didn't exactly reciprocate by explaining what was in the secret sauce behind the best-selling F-150. Saga stops short of accusing the Blue Oval of outright stealing some of Toyota's ideas before breaking off the partnership, but just barely.

A Ford spokesman told Automotive News that the automaker preferred its own technology to Toyota's for the proposed hybrid pickup, and didn't address Toyota's accusations. Ford says a gas-electric truck may be available to the public by the end of the decade, while Toyota hasn't said much on its front.

General Motors sold its own hybrid pickup in the form of a slightly electrified Chevrolet Silverado, but that model was discontinued in 2011 because of slow sales. Last year, Ford sold more than three-quarters of a million F-150s in the US. That's more than six times the US sales of the Toyota Tundra pickup. Of course, the Prius holds more than a slight edge over Ford when it comes to hybrid vehicles, so each could have learned something from the other here.

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