Toyota Boosts Ties With Matsushita

Will cooperate on hybrid vehicle batteries

Toyota Motor Corp. said June 26 it had acquired a small stake in Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., as the two firms look to reinforce their cooperation in areas such as hybrid vehicle batteries. Toyota has acquired 20.7 million shares, or a 0.84% stake, in Matsushita as of the end of March this year, Toyota said.

Matsushita spokesman said: "Generally speaking, Matsushita sees our car electronics business as a growth area, and seeks to boost capital tie-ups with, and shareholdings in, our business partners. Toyota is our largest customer in the car electronics business."

Toyota and Matsushita in 1996 set up a joint venture to manufacture batteries for hybrid cars, in which the Japanese automaker is the industry leader.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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