Japan Today reports via Kyodo News that Toyota Motor Corp plans to commercialize a diesel hybrid subcompact car as early as 2010 in cooperation with Isuzu Motors Ltd., according to “informed” but unnamed sources.
Earlier in November, Toyota acquired a 5.9% stake in Isuzu and the two companies announced they will collaborate on the research, development and production of small diesel engines and alternative fuels for those engines. (Earlier post.)
Earlier this week, Toyota Motor Sales USA Chairman Yukitoshi Funo noted that the importance of diesel engines is growing, and said that Toyota is considering a full-scale entry into the diesel market, mostly with trucks. (Earlier post.)
Both Isuzu and Toyota (through Hino) have diesel-electric hybrid trucks on the market.
...in order to apply the technology to cars, it is necessary to reduce the size and weight of the engine and motor, and to lower prices as well, the sources said.