JAPAN: No Toyota plans to hinder any GM alliance
Toyota has no interest in blocking or joining the proposed tie-up between General Motors and the Renault-Nissan alliance, the Japanese automaker's president was quoted as saying on Thursday (20 July).
According to The Associated Press (AP), Watanabe said he didn't want to comment about talks amongst other automakers but denied Toyota was interested in joining the proposed mega-alliance.
"We are not thinking about participating," Watanabe told the news agency in Tokyo when asked about whether Toyota may either join or block the talks among GM, Renault and Nissan about a possible partnership with an alliance.
During his visit to the London motor show this week, GM president and CEO Rick Wagoner would not give any details of what was discussed during his recent meeting with Renault's CEO Carlos Ghosn.
AP noted that speculation has been growing that Toyota may be considering proposing to General Motors an alternative option for a tie-up, perhaps to block Japanese rival Nissan's growth ambitions. Such ambitions are likely to get a big boost if GM decides to join the Renualt-Nissan partnership, the news agency said.
AP added that outside of its group of Japanese subsidiaries, Toyota does not have any auto alliances involving holding stakes though it does operate a car plant with GM in Fremont, California - the 50-50 partnership, called New United Motor Manufacturing Inc, or NUMMI, was set up in 1984. Toyota has also worked together with General Motors on ecological technology.
For a time in the 1990s, Toyota shared re-badged car models with GM unit Holden in Australia under a now-defunct government programme to reduce the number of locally manufactured car models.
Watanabe said NUMMI and other friendly ties with GM will continue unchanged, but added he does not foresee new tie-ups involving major stakes for his company, Associated Press added.