A major Japanese newspaper is reporting that Toyota is considering sharing its hybrid technology with GM, a claim that Toyota is denying.
According to the Daily Yomiuri, one of Japan's largest newspapers, Toyota is seeking to offer GM its hybrid technology in the event that GM files for bankruptcy. Toyota already offers the technology to Nissan, which uses it in the Nissan Altima sedan hybrid, but offering the technology to GM is another animal altogether.
The report claims that Toyota stands to gain two things from sharing its technology. First, it would dissolve the image of GM as a maker of gas-guzzling SUVs, an image that Toyota believes contributed to GM's current financial woes. By helping GM emerge from bankruptcy with a healthy hybrid program, it hopes to avoid further turbulence in the U.S. market, which, as we've seen, has caused Toyota some serious financial woes of its own.
Additionally, if GM were to accept Toyota's hybrid technology, Toyota would become the owner of the world's de facto hybrid technology. This would increase cost effectiveness, as well as accelerate development.
Toyota has denied the report, as have "GM sources" through GM-Volt.com. Though the report seems to make sense for Toyota, it doesn't seem to take into account the fact that GM has spent billions developing its own hybrid systems. And with technology like the Voltec platform well under way, it's hard to imagine GM shelling out more money to buy technology from a rival like Toyota.
But then again, stranger things have happened this year.