Ford And Toyota End Alliance Toward Hybrid Pickup and SUV Development

Today Ford Motor Co. and Toyota agreed to separate from joint development of gas-electric hybrid systems for SUVs and pickup trucks upon the completion of the initial research and development phase of a two-year-old agreement.

Both companies declined to name specific models of light duty trucks and passenger vehicles that would have benefited from the collaboration.

The deal had been originally made at the top levels by Ford CEO Alan Mulally and Toyota President Akio Toyoda in August 2011.

This year Ford has made aggressive inroads into taking Toyota’s market share, particularly with its C-Max and Fusion Hybrids, a fact it has kept fresh in the media’s eye with steady press releases including one today following the termination of the Toyota collaboration.

“Ford Motor Company set a record for hybrid sales in the second quarter of 2013, with sales of 24,217 vehicles – up 517 percent over last year and up 15 percent over the first quarter of 2013 – as demand grows in markets across the United States and as more Toyota and Honda customers trade in their vehicles for a Ford,” said Ford in its statement.

In a statement issued by Toyota today, the Japanese automaker said the companies would continue to work together in other areas.

“Toyota and Ford continue to evaluate the feasibility of working together on next-generation standards for telematics and will consider other areas for future collaboration as well,” said Toyota’s statement.

Automotive News noted also that in China Toyota and Ford have agreed to share emergency and customer call centers.

The cooperation between the two rivals is one of several such alliances of convenience that have come along in the wake of the Obama administration’s Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) mandates in the past couple years or longer.

As followers of this space are well aware, CAFE is seen generally as necessitating more electrified solutions to bring up fleet averages for companies yet heavily dependent on petroleum burning engines.

Both Toyota and Ford will independently develop their pickups and SUVs having shared a common road until this point.