When It Comes to Hybrids It's Toyota Vs. The World

Toyota's heavy spending is creating hybrid vehicle patents -- 650 and counting -- that could provide an edge over competitors.

Published: 25-Mar-2005

LOS ANGELES -- Toyota Motor Corp. is going all-in on hybrids and its gamble is part of one of the industry's highest-stakes poker games. While other automakers are hedging their bets - fearing that stiff development costs and higher sticker prices of hybrids will limit the technology to a niche - Toyota stands to benefit handsomely if its rivals are wrong.

Toyota is the only automaker developing production hybrid powertrains for front- and rear-drive vehicles, for both cars and trucks, and for four-, six- and eight-cylinder engines.

"Eventually all of our vehicles" will be offered with a hybrid option, says Jim Press, COO of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

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