Toyota Motors Corp may supply Daimler AG, the maker of Mercedes-Benz cars, with parts and technology for hybrid vehicles. Daimler is looking to benefit from the Japanese automaker’s hybrid system for its A-Class compact car, which is expected to be launched in 2013.
A supply deal between Toyota and Daimler would come as a surprise because Daimler is already working with rival premium car maker BMW AG on hybrid development. Daimler also recently formed a partnership with Renault SA and Nissan Motor Co, and the three companies had said that the cooperation would also work on hybrid, fuel-cell and other next-generation vehicles.
Toyota had earlier said that it wanted to share its hybrid technology with others to reduce production costs. Toyota introduced the world's first hybrid car 13 years ago and continues to dominate the market for the fuel-sipping gasoline-electric cars with its flagship Prius model. Toyota also supplies its hybrid technology to Nissan for the Altima sedan.
Daimler introduced its first hybrid car in the high-end S Class last year using "mild" hybrid technology developed jointly with BMW.