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Toyota, Fuji to develop hybrid for Subaru cars

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Toyota, Fuji to develop hybrid for Subaru cars: paper

TOKYO (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp. and Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. have agreed to co-develop a gasoline-electric hybrid system to be mounted on Fuji Heavy's Subaru cars, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported on Saturday.

Toyota, Japan's top auto maker and the world leader in hybrid technology and sales, had previously considered supplying its own hybrid system to Fuji Heavy. But that proved difficult given Subaru's unique symmetrical all-wheel-drive drivetrain system, the paper said.

Officials at the companies were not immediately available for comment.

Toyota and Fuji Heavy have been exploring ways to cooperate in the areas of development and production since Toyota became Fuji Heavy's top shareholder in October after Fuji Heavy dissolved its capital alliance with General Motors Corp.

Toyota now holds an 8.7 percent stake in Fuji Heavy.

The two firms in December agreed to make Toyota-brand cars at Subaru's factory in the U.S. state of Indiana, as the factory has been underused since the withdrawal of Fuji's former joint venture partner, Isuzu Motors Ltd.

The Nihon Keizai also said Toyota plans to build its Camry sedan, the United States' best-selling car, at Fuji's Indiana plant, with annual production of around 100,000 units.

The companies' presidents are scheduled to hold a joint press conference late Monday in Tokyo.

Link: http://today.reuters.com/sponsoredby/amex/...A-FUJIHEAVY.xml

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