Both Ford, Nissan buy Toyota's Hybrid System!

drfilldrfill Member Posts: 2,484
edited March 2014 in Toyota
   

   Admitting "If you can't beat 'em, Join 'em!", Ford on March 9th finalized an agreement to use Toyota's Hybrid Technology System for use in future Ford products, joining Nissan, which signed a similar agreement in 2002, as reported by Rueters.

   Ford "has not yet completed their hybrid system". Using Toyota's system instead might help.

   Nissan will use it first in the 2006 Altima.

   Toyota has taken a rather altruistic approach to their advanced emissions and efficiency systems, saying any such advancements should not be held by only one manufacturer.

  Interesting.

  
  Question is, if Ford, and Nissan will bow down to Mighty 'Yota, who's next?

  
   DrFill
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Comments

  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    When I saw the title of the thread I knew who started it...lol.

    Nevertheless, it is still impressive.

    M
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Member Posts: 1,722
    "Toyota has taken a rather altruistic approach"

    So then Toyota gave them the technology for free?
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Member Posts: 1,711
    Toyota sold them the old technology (from the first Prius), not the new Prius technology. This is really a slap in the face - Sell the competitors your old technology!?!
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Member Posts: 1,722
    hell wouldn't you? If my competitors want to buy my old, obsolete technology, I'd sell it to them gladly!
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Member Posts: 1,711
    Absolutely! I can't believe the other manufacturers are so desperate that they are resorting to buying the old technology! Of course, the vast majority of the general public does not know this, so they will be happy to buy the new (ha ha) Ford Escape hybrid. But if people knew that Toyota already had the next generation in their vehicles, you would have to be crazy to buy anything else, if hybrids are your thing.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaMember Posts: 12,726
    the old system was pretty good, and the new HSD is not worlds apart, just incrementally better in some ways. Either system would be able to finally bring the Escape up above 30 mpg in the city, which I think was the goal for Ford, provided it would still have as much power as the gas V-6.

    The other nice thing about this is there will now be three companies evolving Toyota's hybrid system in their own R&D departments. So we will see some variation in how it is applied to future models. And hopefully Nissan will put more emphasis on sport applications in future.

    The thing that puzzles me is that Ford tried so hard for so long to develop their own hybrid system that it delayed the launch of the HEV about two years. And in the end they decided they couldn't? What's going on over at Ford?

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Member Posts: 1,722
    Maybe when Ford purchase Jaguar, they brought over a bunch of engineers who are trying to make a Lucas powered, positive ground Hybrid system for the Escape?

    ;-)
  • swschradswschrad Member Posts: 2,171
    so they don't really have just the "old" 'yoda system, they have rights to all of it.

    what this tells me is that ford, after postponing the hybrid escape twice and then signing this deal, decided to

    a) cut their investment losses, and

    b) stop inventing almost-theres in house

    and just freakin' get to market. noises from the "so just what kind of lazy environmentalist are you anyway, Bill" crowd must have gotten to 'em at ford.

    SIDENOTE ::= when all the automakers got an antitrust exemption to use GM's pebble-bed catalytic converters in the 70s because nothing else was out there, it cost $3000 per cat. when porous-cell ceramic cats were developed later by others, the cost fell to the $90-100 range per catalytic. it remains to be seen whose hybrid technology will come close in pricing to ICE, but it isn't there yet.
  • drfilldrfill Member Posts: 2,484
    1. How much of the "2nd Generation" Hybrid Tech did Toyota sell? Any?

       2. Do the other manufacturers have any rights to future developments? Toyota has intimated they wouldn't horde all the new technology themselves. That's what I meant by alruistic. They could easily corner the market, and compete with Honda on how to apply it. They'll make money hand-over-fist either way!

       3. Only now, does this mean Ford can released the Hybrid Escape this year? Without it, would they have to swallow their words, again?

       4. Or will it take 2-3 years to impliment the new tech? Nissan won't be using in for another two years, and they agreed with 'Yota 18 months ago!

       5. Is Toyota trying to have it's cake, and eat it too? They are so far ahead of the other manufacturers, is their plan to dominate the Hybrid market, sell of key (but not complete, or up-to-date) parts of their technology, then SLOWLY dispense the system, ensuring their market position?

       DrFill
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Member Posts: 1,722
    " They'll make money hand-over-fist either way!"

    between taping of your shows, crack open a dictionary, and look up altruism!

    ;-)
  • varmintvarmint Member Posts: 6,326
    My understaning is that Ford's hybrid will be a "hybrid" of their tech and Toyota's. This article makes it seem like they are just using parts of the Yoda system.

    "Under the agreement, Toyota's patents on gasoline-electric hybrid engine system control and emission purification have been licensed for use in Ford's own hybrid system, which is under development."

    http://www.reuters.com/financeQuoteCompanyNewsArticle.jhtml?story- ID=4525684&ric=F.N&infoty
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaMember Posts: 12,726
    the hybrid system controller is really the crux of the technology, and can be manipulated for more or less sport. That is what I mean when I say I am hopeful of more sporty hybrid applications in future...at least from Nissan, if not Ford and Toyota.

    However, this leaves Ford to use its own motor/transmission design, and its own battery pack.

    I will bet the HEV will still make it this year. They were almost ready a few months ago, claiming only one final snag, which I guess Toyota's tech sale will solve for them.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • drfilldrfill Member Posts: 2,484
    Selling a technology to your competition at the start of an emerging market boom is relatively altruistic, Seminole. I know what the word means. I didn't mean it in it's most literal, textbook definition. This is as altruistic as carmakers get.

       They could very easily take this market advantage and weild it like a hammer, and further bury struggling makers like Ford. They choose to cut them in, which is nice, and much more benevolent (there goes another big word) than I would ever be.

       DrFill
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaMember Posts: 12,726
    this is altruism...I think this is a way to launch a new technology so that you are not the only one selling it, and consumers gradually become more and more accepting of it until they are used to it and are maybe even a little more willing to spend extra to get it.

    Think of it, Toyota has spent all this money developing hybrid. But the future is also bright for fuel cells (maybe), and even diesel (probably). Hybrid needs the best possible footing Toyota can give it, so that Toyota can recoup its huge initial investment with 20 years of successful hybrid vehicles, and so that hybrid doesn't just flicker and go out at the first hint of new diesel emissions trapping systems or a more marketable fuel cell system.

    One way to accomplish this is to license the technology to other manufacturers to use in their own models. Even then, if you notice, Honda and Toyota will probably go down in history as the only two automakers who stuck their necks out so far as to develop and build brand new hybrid models in their line-up. Nissan and Ford, after all, will just develop hybrid powertrains for existing models, and I bet that will be the trend from now on.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • badtoybadtoy Member Posts: 368
    you are perceptive indeed!

    Toyota's fear has been that cars might be legislated right out of existence unless ways are found to make them more environmentally friendly (and therefore more palatable to the tree huggers, who tend to wield politcal force far beyond their numbers). Of course, Toyota has also been willing to share their production methods with anyone who will listen as well. They figure that if the car industry is healthy, there's plenty of money for everybody.

    It's like the fast-food corridor phenomenon -- by combining at one location, they actually generate more business for ALL of them.

    And for those cynics who think Toyota is selling inferior technology to its competitors -- sorry, no. There is no profit or political capital in that. That's a real good way to get a reputation as a con artist, and that's something that doesn't go real well with Toyota's corporate philosphy or self-image.
  • drfilldrfill Member Posts: 2,484
    Toyota is releasing some pretty sweet secrets, but not every Hybrid trick up their sleeve.

       Toyota has proven that Hybrid tech will make good money NOW, with the Prius being a huge hit, while having a small customer base, strange looks, and no history. Versions in the Highlander/RX400 will be big successes.

       They don't NEED Ford or Nissan to make this technology profitable or more attractive. Their motivation is probably just market awareness. The more people that see Hybrid power as the Next Big Thing, the more people will recognize who is creating this market and making it work, and the market share will rise accordingly.

       Another theory is that these agreements will slow the development of competitive systems, again giving Toyota a huge advantage with only Honda to compete with, instead of several systems on the market.

       DrFill
  • varmintvarmint Member Posts: 6,326
    The arms race bankrupted the USSR. In India, a favorite method for putting upstart leaders in their place was to give them a white elephant. The upkeep of those animals would often bankrupt the recipient.

    The sooner Ford and Nissan get hybrids on the road, the sooner Toyota can start a hybrid arms race. I'm sure Toyota is banking on the idea that the hybrids they make will be better than those made by anyone else. Toyota can afford to waste huge sums of money to make certain that happens. Ford and Nissan cannot. Neither can Honda for that matter.

    So the sooner there is competition, the sooner Toyota can prove how much better they are. It's a gamble, but a calculated one.

    From the view of the other guys, this is an opportunity to get into the race. Which is probably better than doing nothing at all.
  • badtoybadtoy Member Posts: 368
    Toyota has done a lot of research in (I forget the exact term) the use of mass transit technology on the freeways. Their use of radar in their latest cruise control systems is the tip of the iceberg. The plan is to eventually build an infrastucture like the one in Minority Report, in which you enter the system and control of the car is regulated by a central computer. It's really the best of both worlds -- you reap the benefits of mass transit while still enjoying the benefits of an individual module.

    Beyond the obvious benefits to enthusiasts, such a system is far more realistic in terms of infrastructure, in that it requires no additional real estate (like commuter trains), and makes no additional noise. I live near South Pasadena, which has been fighting both the extension of the 710 freeway and the Gold Line commuter train. We really have to look at realistic ways to address our transportation needs without giving up the very freedom the automobile provides.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Wow, a hit on Ford's ego for sure.

    But I think it's great. Spread the costs so you can invest more money in development.

    I can't wait to see the more performance oriented hybrids. So far it's all been about economy, they even ride on low rolling resistance tires that handle poorly.

    Put that 295 lb-ft of torque at idle to good use!

    -juice
  • wimsey1wimsey1 Member Posts: 201
    Go to a Geneva show site and look for the Toyota Alessandro Volta. They should produce that!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    URL?

    -juice
  • badtoybadtoy Member Posts: 368
    wil use hybrid technology to give it the oomph of a much larger engine without the weight and with no penalty in fuel economy.

    Remember -- electric motors make maximum torque right from 0 RPM on.
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Member Posts: 776
    This was interesting news. I'm wondering where it leaves Honda which is starting to looked boxed in from the sides by Toyota and GM, from below by Hyundai and from above by everyone else. Good thing they're looking at passenger jets.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaMember Posts: 12,726
    needs to evolve the system they already have. The HCH makes 98 hp combined and gets mid-40s mpg. I wonder if they took the exact same chassis and just dropped in a 98 hp gas engine, whether they could get that mid-40s figure?

    I do not have the same doubts about the Prius, given its 50+ fuel economy, larger size, and higher weight.

    I heard an interview on the radio tonight with the car editor for the NY Times, whose take on the whole thing is that the domestics are willing to license the technology from Toyota and let it be the hybrid 50-pound gorilla, so that they can turn their R&D energies elsewhere. Perhaps this means they do not see a long or lasting future for hybrids...

    She did mention that GM would have hybrids on the road next year though, which I assume means the mild hybrid trucks...

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    It might turn out to be a really smart move - they can focus their R&D budget on fuel cells.

    Question is, can they pull it off? They failed with hybrids...

    -juice
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaMember Posts: 12,726
    not to mention that Toyota continues at the forefront of fuel cell research as well. It is not like they have just focsed all their energies on hybrids and ignored all other alt fuels.

    Toyota will begin selling fuel cell cars (or maybe leasing them?) next year in California - available to private customers no less - and has already signed a deal with the city of San Francisco to lease them a fleet of fuel cell cars, so I think they are also pretty serious about fuel cell technology! :-P

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    GM and Toyota are big, they can afford it.

    Honda is a lot smaller so for them it's a big risk, they have to forecast accurately or stand to lose a huge investment (as a % of their total R&D budget).

    -juice
  • nine51nine51 Member Posts: 78
    I wonder if the possibility of a change in government policy toward increased CAFE regulations has pushed Ford to buy rights to produce the Toyota system for their profitable SUV's. Why spend mega $$ to reinvent the wheel when you can buy the other guy's technology right now? That way they don't have to cut production of SUV's in favor of higher mileage small cars that few people seem to want from the domestic producers. Ford has taken a lot of heat for it's low fuel economy vehicles like the Excursion. This may be a way of quieting the critics and holding off regulation.
  • badtoybadtoy Member Posts: 368
    interesting comment on Honda producing private jets -- I wasn't aware of that.

    About ten years ago, the head of Toyota's US operations was heavily into private jets and helicopters, and even went so far as to offer free flying lessons to all interested employees. Unfortunately, that was a couple of years before I got there, or I'd have my pilot's license now!

    Toyota still operates a FBO (Fixed Base Operation) at the Long Beach airport for private jets, and has won many industry awards for its design and services.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Ford is supposed to cancel the Excursion and come out with a stretch Expedition. We'll see.

    -juice
  • badtoybadtoy Member Posts: 368
    I just read that Ford is continuing production of the Excursion (apparently the tree huggers have not yet triumphed!!).
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Maybe they changed plans?

    I'm sure the bean counters did the math and made their choice accordingly.

    -juice
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaMember Posts: 12,726
    Ford announces officially that it will continue the Excursion at least through '06 AND build an extended-length Expedition IN THE SAME MONTH as they buy hybrid tech from Toyota to apply to their cars and smaller trucks...which will balance out the worst in their fleet for the CAFE average.

    Coincidence? I think not. :-)

    (They say that now that the initial cost is amortized for the Excursion, it is a very high-profit vehicle for them, so why not continue it...despite being "low sales" for Ford, it still sells better than most sport coupe models currently on the market. Gotta love the U.S. of A!)

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaMember Posts: 12,726
    and before someone else says it, I will add I am aware CAFE does not even apply to Excursion, which is such a monster it is not rated for fuel economy by the EPA.

    And my last post was half in jest. :-P

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    It probably costs them, oh, $12 to build an Excursion. ;-)

    Like they need yet another huge SUV, sheesh.

    -juice
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Member Posts: 1,722
    I cannot stand how many SUV's Ford, Toyota and GM crank out, but until people stop buying the darn things, I sadly cannot blame them. Ugh.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    True.

    An even more amazing phenomenon is the sales of 2WD SUVs.

    -juice
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Member Posts: 1,722
    Actually (and I know I'm odd to begin with) but I can understand 2WD SUV's sales more than 4WD. The 2WD models are basically a "cool" replacement for the old Station wagons. Just ride higher and handle worse. The 4WD models never go off road, are heaver, and get worse gas mileage, so I understand the 2WD sales more that the 4WD models.

    Would I buy either? No way.
  • badtoybadtoy Member Posts: 368
    People like the high seating position and intimidating size -- they really don't need 4WD, and it's silly for them to pay for it if they don't.
  • varmintvarmint Member Posts: 6,326
    I don't blame them for building the big rigs. But I do wonder what's taking them so long to add car-based alternatives.
  • badtoybadtoy Member Posts: 368
    oc car-based alternatives, from almost every manufacturer. Toyota, Honda, Subaru, Lexus, Cadillac, BMW, VW, Audi, Volvo, Porsche....shall I go on?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaMember Posts: 12,726
    varmint may have meant the super-mondo SUVs like Excursion?

    Small and midsize "utes" that are really crossovers will be the bulk of the sales in five years, I am sure, after Ford has changed the Explorer to a unibody based on the 500 platform.

    So it is good that Ford is buying the hybrid tech to use in that type of vehicle, with the HEV. So much easier, then, to modify it later on for use in the '09 Explorer Hybrid, 38 mpg city!

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Ford only offers the Escape here.

    In other markets they sell a smaller SUV called the EcoSport, it's very popular in Brazil, for instance. I think that one is Focus based, but I could be wrong.

    They're also developing the Ford Freestyle crossover, to compete with the Pacifica I guess.

    So they're coming around, a little late to the game, though.

    -juice
  • varmintvarmint Member Posts: 6,326
    Yeah, Juice describes what I had in mind.

    I mean, Honda is the smallest of the major manufacturers, but they have three distinct car-based SUVs in their line. Toyota is about the same size as Ford and has two. Both these imports have had cross-overs in their luxury lines for quite some time, as well. BMW has two.

    Ford has one. (Even Porsche has one.)

    In truth, I think Chrysler is just as slow as Ford. Most of the ones they have in their lines are niche or luxury models. There's nothing in the Dodge or Jeep line-ups. So I guess it would be more accurate to say that they're late in getting into the mass market with them.

    Anyway... In proportion to the number of big rigs they sell, it seems odd that they wouldn't be more aggressive in getting into the cross-over arena.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Really Toyota has 3 if you count the RX. And two of those will soon offer hybrids.

    Ford's strategy has been different, in their defense they got their trucks and put indy rear suspensions on those instead of going to full car-based models.

    That improved the ride but certainly not overall weight, and fuel efficiency isn't a strong point.

    -juice
  • badtoybadtoy Member Posts: 368
    does Honda have? I count the Pilot and CRV. If you count the Element, you also have to count the xB and Matrix.
  • varmintvarmint Member Posts: 6,326
    Juice - Or four for Honda if you want to count the Acura MDX. Again, I was thinking of the mass market, not the niche and luxury vehicles.

    GM has two with the VUE and Aztek. They've just added the Equinox. Then they have the RDV in the near-lux and the SRX for the upper lux. Chrysler only has the Pacifica, which is arguably a luxury vehicle.

    Badtoy - Yes, I was counting the Element, but the result is still the same without it.

    FWIW, I personally think the Element is a van, but most buyers see it as a small SUV and the EPA does classify it as a truck. I don't believe either is true of the Matrix and Vibe.
  • badtoybadtoy Member Posts: 368
    nor a truck. It's a car-based mini-van, just like the xB, which is its direct competitor. The Element is car-based, normal ride height, and doesn't even come in 4WD, unless I missed that one (the Matrix does, but it's a station -- or "sport" -- wagon, as far as I'm concerned).

    Not every high-profile vehicle is an SUV. SUVs are intended to be used at least part-time off-road, which is why the RAV4 qualifies and the CRV is somewhat questionable (although it is classified as one).
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    We get into this classification debate every month or so, it seems. You can't ever get folks to agree, so let's quit while we're ahead.

    I read we'll see a Camry hybrid for 2006, also. That'll join the Altima and Accord in the mainstream.

    Prius is in hot demand, who will be next?

    -juice
This discussion has been closed.