Long guarded about what was beneath the hood of its pioneering Prius cars, Toyota Motor Corp plans to open up its powertrain technology to rivals, hoping this will boost sales and speed up the industry’s shift to lower-emission vehicles.
Announcing last week it would expand its gasoline hybrid technology development, the world’s largest automaker said it would consider selling complete powertrain modules – engines, transmissions and other drive components – to its competitors.
The prospect of giving rivals access to “one-size-fits-all” powertrains comes as cars are increasingly dependent on computerized components, making it easier to design similar parts across model ranges. The industry has moved on from competing largely on mechanical engineering.
That trend will likely accelerate as automakers face pressure from regulators to further cut car emissions and develop more long-range electric vehicles.