Two years ago, Ford and Toyota agreed to perform a feasibility study on the two companies working together to develop a hybrid drivetrain for rear wheel drive pickups and SUVs. Apparently, working together wasn’t going to be feasible because Ford and Toyota have both issued statements announcing the end of the tie-up. Ford said that the Dearborn automaker will be developing their own hybrid system for RWD and said that the completely new hybrid architecture will be available by 2020.
Raj Nair, Ford’s global head of product development said in prepared statement:
“We know what it takes to build world-class hybrids, and we now will build and leverage that expertise in-house. By continuing to develop a rear-wheel-drive hybrid system on our own, we can extend our advanced hybrid technologies to new vehicle segments and deliver even better fuel economy across our lineup.”
On its own part, Toyota emphasized its leadership position in hybrid technology without tipping its hand regarding RWD hybrids.
Toyota’s commitment to hybrid technology is unwavering. We have sold over two million Toyota and Lexus hybrid vehicles in the U.S., representing 70 percent of the U.S. auto industry’s total hybrid sales, and over 5 million hybrids worldwide. In addition, Toyota remains on track to offer 18 new or redesigned hybrid models globally by the end of 2015.
Ford and Toyota will continue to work together on developing standards for the next generation of telematics. Ford and Toyota had made an earlier licensing agreement concerning the hybrid systems in the Prius and Fusion Hybrid to avoid possible litigation over their separately developed technologies.