Toyota reportedly is open to deepening its cooperation with Ford.

The Nikkei financial newspaper reported that Toyota president, Katsuaki Watanabe, has said that if Ford wanted a deeper relationship, then Toyota would consider it.

Any co-operation would likely focus on technical development, said Watanabe.

Ford and Toyota have to date only co-operated on hybrid engines. Toyota supplies components and technology to Ford.

At the end of December, Toyota CEO Fujio Cho met with Ford CEO Alan Mulally, in Tokyo, prompting speculation of future cooperation between the two companies.

At the time, Ford played down the speculation saying that Mulally was in the process of meeting with the chief executives of all of Ford's major competitors.