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 |  Aug 22 2011, 11:53 AM

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Ford and Toyota shocked the automotive world with the announcement that the two companies will join forces to create a new hybrid system for light trucks and SUVs.

The companies signed a memorandum of understanding, and will do further research and studies regarding the project. The new system is said to be rear-drive based, and uses different technology than both Ford and Toyota’s current hybrid systems.

Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s head of global product development, stated that the two companies would not be sharing platforms, but rather sharing costs developing hybrid and telematics systems, which would be implemented into brand-specific vehicles. Takeshi Uchiyamada, Executive Vice President of Toyota, also stressed the importance of developing new telematics technology, though Ford’s own SYNC system, developed with Microsoft, has been criticized for being too complex and unreliable.