Auto giants Ford and Toyota have announced that they are holding preliminary talks about some form of alliance, with further discussions expected at next month’s North American international motor show.

It is believed that the duo are looking to co-operate on environmental ventures such as electric cars as well as European co-operation and joint sales in Asia.

Ford is expected to use Toyota’s dealership network and sales outlets throughout Asia, where the US company seeks to increase its presence. Toyota may make similar demands on Ford’s European resources, where it is looking to boost per annum sales from 633,000 to 800,000 by 2005 while simultaneously cutting costs.

Although both sides remained cagey about the details, Ford described the meetings between its chief executive Jac Nasser and Toyota chairman Hiroshi Okuda as “extremely positive”.

News source: Financial Times