Toyota executive Bob Carter called for greater cooperation among automakers and suppliers as the auto industry faces new regulatory challenges and surging fuel and raw material costs, Detroit Free Press reports.
“As an industry, we cannot let automotive suppliers, the very backbone of this business, collapse at a time when the industry needs us most. The only way we can survive and thrive is to collaborate and share our best ideas and build alliances between OEMs and suppliers that will blossom and endure, ” Carter told the Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City last week.
Last week, Toyota also reconfirmed the company’s plans to introduce a large fleet of plug-in electric hybrid vehicles with lithium-ion batteries at the North American International Auto Show in January 2010.
The company says it is confident it will overcome the challenges lithium-ion battery-powered cars may have. But the company may face another challenge, as Honda recently announced it will price its new gas-electric hybrid lower than Toyota’s Prius.
Toyota recently announced plans to include solar panels in its third-generation Prius by next year.