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Toyota, Geely 'communicating' on hybrid car technology

Toyota Motor Corp. is in talks with Chinese car company Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. about a partnership that will focus on gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle technology, Reuters reported Sept. 6, citing a statement sent by the Japanese carmaker.

The companies are "communicating with each other," according to the statement, but Reuters said nothing has been decided about the matter.

Toyota also reportedly did not disclose aspects of the hybrid technology or specific details of the possible collaboration, but said the partnership is based on the open policy that applies to the field of electrification technologies.

The talks involve a Chinese supplier of electric battery technology that both Toyota and Geely have been involved with separately, the news outlet said, citing a person familiar with the matter.

The Nikkei Asian Review reported in June that Toyota engineers visited the headquarters of Chinese battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd., a supplier to car companies including Geely.

Reuters said a Geely spokesman declined to comment on the matter.

Both car manufacturers have been ramping up efforts related to automated and connected vehicles in recent months. Geely recently partnered with an automotive electronics maker to integrate a SmartCore-based integrated cockpit domain controller to its new pure-electric modular vehicle platform, while Toyota forayed into the connected car-sharing and car-rental industry.