Toyota Motor has acquired nearly 2% of Daido Steel order to widen its network of suppliers of specialty steel, local reports said.

Citing an unsourced report in the Nikkei business daily, Thomson Financial said the automaker has apparently been buying shares in the leading specialty-steel producer since last autumn, with a total investment estimated at around JPY7bn (US$67.3m).

Toyota began procuring specialty steel used to make transmission components and other auto parts from Daido Steel in 2006, the report added.