Eight major Japanese automakers have agreed to share engine research.
Daihatsu, Fuji Heavy Industries, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Toyota and Suzuki will team up on basic research into fuel-efficient engines to reduce development costs. The collaboration will study exhaust purification technology for diesel engines according to industry sources.
The companies won’t be working together on projects to actually develop engines or other components.
With increasingly strict Corporate Average Fuel Economy targets, diesel engines are seen as a potential short term solution to make drastic increases in vehicle fuel economy. Diesel engines do, however, have their drawbacks with sophisticated exhaust treatment systems required so that those big MPG numbers also come with low emissions numbers.
To date, many Japanese automakers have decided to focus on the long term plan, developing hybrid technology. This announcement, however, could be a sign that things are starting to change.
[Source: The Japan Times]