Isuzu to Venture with Toyota on Engine Production

?Isuzu to Venture with Toyota on Engine Production

Japan’s Isuzu Motors Ltd. said Thursday that it is considering a set up in a joint venture to produce diesel engines with Toyota Motor Corp. as part of the tie-up which was announced by the two firms last year.

The truck maker and the world’s number one car maker have been discussing details of their alliance in development and production of diesel engines since they formed the tie-up.

An Isuzu spokesman said that putting up a joint production venture is one option which the two auto makers are looking at. However, they are also considering other options.

The latest comments were aired after Isuzu said last December that building a new diesel engine plant with Toyota was one option. The Isuzu spokesman said that the two auto makers may be open for the details of their alliance by the end of August.

The industry leader in the gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle market, Toyota, is seeking to improve its fuel-efficient and low-emission technologies by tying up with Isuzu, which is a major developer of diesel engines.

With the soaring prices of gas, diesel engines are attracting interest because they are almost 20 percent to 30 percent more fuel efficient than gasoline engines. About 50 percent of the vehicles sold in Europe are powered by diesel.

Aside from making diesel engines for its own vehicles, Isuzu also supplies such engines to U.S. auto titan General Motors Corp. (GM).

Last year, Toyota took a 5.9 percent stake in Isuzu. The team up came after Isuzu dissolved a capital tie-up with GM, which is trying to reorganize its business.

A Toyota spokesman said that the details have not been finalized on the diesel engine joint venture.

More information on Toyota:

Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., announced the one-millionth hybrid sale in July 7 by parent company, Toyota Motor Corporation. Of the one million hybrid sales around the world, over 50 percent have been sold in the United States — 541,210 units from 2000 through April 2007.

In May, TMS posted sales of 36,101 hybrid vehicles, a whopping 102 percent increase over last May. Toyota Division posted sales of 34,174 hybrids, an even more surprising 121 percent increase over the same period last year. Lexus Division posted sales of 1,927 hybrids.

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