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Ford, Toyota To Collaborate On Hybrid Truck

RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:

Ford Motor Company and Toyota say they will still be rivals, even though they're teaming up to develop more fuel-efficient and affordable hybrid trucks. The partnership could help both companies compete against a common rival, as Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton reports.

TRACY SAMILTON: Toyota has the Prius, the best-selling hybrid car in the U.S. Ford has hybrid cars, too, and it has the F-series truck, the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. But as J.D. Power's Michael Omotoso points out, neither company has a hybrid technology suitable for big SUVs and trucks.

MICHAEL OMOTOSO: Unlike GM, that has hybrid version of the Tahoe, Yukon, Escalade, as well as their pickups, the Sierra and Chevy Silverado.

SAMILTON: Although it has to be noted that GM's hybrid SUVS and trucks aren't exactly flying off dealer lots.

OMOTOSO: Mainly because of the reduced towing capacity of the hybrid versus the non-hybrid.

SAMILTON: For NPR News, I'm Tracy Samilton in Ann Arbor. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Tracy Samilton covers the auto beat for Michigan Radio. She has worked for the station for 12 years, and started out as an intern before becoming a part-time and, later, a full-time reporter. Tracy's reports on the auto industry can frequently be heard on Morning Edition and All Things Considered, as well as on Michigan Radio. She considers her coverage of the landmark lawsuit against the University of Michigan for its use of affirmative action a highlight of her reporting career.