Mercedes has been developing its own hybrid tech for years, but—like Nissan and Mazda—has seen its hybrid powertrains lag far behind the sophistication of Toyota’s. Could Mercedes-Benz really be the next major automaker to get Toyota’s hybrid synergy drive?
Industry reports coming out of Japan indicate that negotiations between Daimler AG and Toyota began more than a year ago, and that the final details are nearly ironed out, with a formal announcement expected soon.
Toyota’s heavily-valued (and strategically defended) position as the industry’s hybrid technology leader has helped the company line up a number of hybrid IP deals already, and adding Daimler’s name to the company’s customer list will surely be a massive ego-boost to Toyota’s recently battered brand-image.
It seems that precious few details about which Daimler models will receive Toyota’s hybrid components remain before the deal gets officially announced (the smart money is on compacts like the new Mercedes A Class, which won’t dilute the brand’s ultra-lux image).
Time will tell if these speculations are being built on firm foundations. Stay tuned!
SOURCE: Nikkan Jidosha, via Reuters.