Toshiba to make motors for Ford hybrid cars
|Mar 17 2004|
TOKYO, March 18 (Reuters) - Japanese electronics conglomerate Toshiba Corp <6502.T> said on Thursday it would produce motors to be used in Ford Motor Co's <F.N> hybrid cars, making a full-fledged entry into the automotive parts market.
Auto parts are expected to be one of the fastest-growing markets for electronics manufacturers in a few years due to growing demand for hybrid cars -- which combine a battery-powered motor and a gasoline engine -- as well as wider use of car navigation and other communication systems.
Toshiba said its subsidiary, Toshiba Industrial Products Manufacturing Corp, would make up to 2,000 motors a month starting in April for Aisin AW, an auto parts maker affiliated with Toyota Motor Corp <7203.T>, the world's second-largest auto maker.
Aisin AW will assemble the motors with other equipment to make drive systems for Ford's Escape hybrid SUVs.
Toshiba, which said last year it aimed for auto parts sales of 50 billion yen ($466.5 million) in the year ending in March 2007, also plans to start manufacturing auto parts such as exhaust gas purification units and collision avoidance systems.
Another Japanese electronics conglomerate, Hitachi Ltd <6501.T>, aims to double its auto parts sales to one trillion yen by the year starting in April 2010.
Toyota said last week that Ford would use some of its hybrid engine technology. Ford is the only U.S. auto maker with plans to launch a true hybrid car this year.
Toyota made its name as world leader in hybrid technology in 1997 when it launched the Prius sedan, the first mass-produced hybrid vehicle.
Honda Motor Co <7267.T> is the only other auto maker to mass-market hybrid cars.
Shares in Toshiba were up 0.44 percent at 454 yen by mid-afternoon, underperforming the Tokyo stock market's electric machinery sub-index <.IELEC.T>, which rose 0.71 percent. ($1=107.18 Yen)
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