Ford Taps Toshiba to Make Motors for Hybrid

Toshiba will produce high-performance drive motors for hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and electric vehicles (EVs) at its plant in Texas.

Toshiba said on June 23 it will build electric motors for a new Ford hybrid vehicles at its plant in the United States.

The company, already building motors for bullet trains, elevators and machinery, is looking to expand its business ahead of rivals in anticipation of increased demand for electric vehicles.

The firm will produce high-performance drive motors for hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and electric vehicles (EVs) under "a major contract for Ford Motor Company", it said.

Toshiba spokesman Keisuke Ohmori said that the value of the contract with Ford was "confidentia.l."

The electronics giant will produce the engines in Houston, Texas, where it will invest $44.2 million to install a new production line in a factory making motors for industrial use, Ohmori said.

The production will be Toshiba's first overseas manufacturing base for autos. It will begin construction for the expanded capacity in January 2011.

Production would begin in 2012, when Ford will begin mass production of its new hybrid.

The firm estimates that the global market for motors for such vehicles, including hybrids, plug-in hybrids and battery electric vehicles, will grow from 50 billion yen in fiscal year 2009 to 1 trillion yen in fiscal 2020.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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