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German, Japan top automakers joining forces in ecological technology

TOKYO (AP) – German truck maker Daimler, Japan’s top automaker Toyota and two other automakers said yesterday they will work together on new technologies, including using hydrogen fuel, to help fight climate change.

The companies said Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corp, whose top stakeholder is Daimler Truck, and Hino Motors, the truck maker in the Toyota group, will merge. Daimler Truck and Toyota Motor Corp will equally invest in the holding company of the Mitsubishi-Hino merger, they said without giving a dollar amount for the deal.

The companies plan to cooperate in reducing carbon emissions and developing other technologies such as autonomous driving, net-connected services and electric vehicles.

“This collaboration among our four companies is a partnership for creating the future of commercial vehicles in Japan and the future of a ‘mobility society’,” said Toyota Motor Corp Chief Executive Koji Sato.

The two truck companies will work on commercial vehicle development, procurement and production to become globally competitive, the executives said.

A cyclist passes a logo of German car company Daimler in Berlin. PHOTO: AP

“We at Daimler Truck are very proud of our products, because trucks and buses keep the world moving. And soon they will even do so with zero emissions,” said Daimler Truck Chief Executive Martin Daum.

“Today’s announcement is a crucial step in making that future work economically and in leading sustainable transportation.”

Automakers are rushing to keep up with the global shift toward less polluting vehicles and to help in other ways to combat climate change. Commercial vehicles like trucks and buses are major contributors to auto emissions. In some cases rivals are joining forces to gain a competitive edge and cut costs through “economies of scale” of by sharing knowledge and resources.

“It is hard to go at it alone. Working together is crucial,” Sato said.

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