7 November 2006

At a news conference in Tokyo, Toyota Motor Corporation announced it would buy a 5.9% stake in Isuzu Motors for 44 billion yen (US$372.7 million). One of the objectives of the alliance would be to develop a clean emission diesel engine, based on the diesel expertise of Isuzu.

Formation of this alliance indicates a recognition by Toyota, who has been a strong supporter and a leader in the gasoline-electric hybrid car technology, that it also needs a line-up of advanced, fuel efficient diesel cars.

“We consider hybrid technology as one effective solution, but in light of the varying regulations and energy policies in different countries, as well as the proliferation of fuel sources, we need stepped-up efforts in the diesel field,” said Toyota President Katsuaki Watanabe.

In September, Toyota’s competitor Honda Motor announced plans to develop an advanced diesel engine for passenger car application for the North American, Japanese and other markets.

Source: Reuters