Toyota may share a version of its Prius hybrid with General Motors according to a recent report by Bloomberg. Sources say Toyota President Akio Toyoda and GM CEO Fritz Henderson will meet in August in Michigan to discuss the possibility of selling a version GM-badged Prius – or possibly using Toyota hybrid technology to build a different hybrid vehicle.
News of the product sharing comes on a day when GM announced it would pull out of its 50/50 sharing of the California NUMMI facility with Toyota – where the Vibe and Matrix are built. As GM sheds its share in the facility Toyota is left looking for ways to make use of the facility.
One possibility is that both automakers will be able to reach a new agreement once GM exits bankruptcy. Toyota is already looking at moving some Prius production to the facility after it shelved plans to build the popular hybrid at facility in Blue Springs, Mississippi late last year.
While it’s unlikely that Toyota would give up its Prius technology to GM, a licensing agreement could see Toyota profit as GM profits. Currently Toyota has this arrangement with Ford.
As Toyota brings out its plug-in Prius, however, it may not be so worried about giving up older technology to GM.
General Motors is expected to launch its own plug-in hybrid, the Volt, next year, but pricing for that model is already expected to be well-above the cost of a Prius.