Japanese electronics conglomerate Toshiba Corp. on Thursday said it would produce motors to be used in Ford’s hybrid cars, making a full-fledged entry into the automotive parts market.

According to Reuters, automotive parts are expected to be one of the fastest-growing markets for electronics manufacturers in a few years due to growing demand for hybrid cars as well as wider use of car navigation and other communication systems.

Toshiba reportedly said its subsidiary, Toshiba Industrial Products Manufacturing Corp., would make up to 2,000 motors a month starting in April for Aisin AW, an automotive parts maker affiliated with Toyota.

Aisin AW will assemble the motors with other equipment to make drive systems for Ford’s Escape hybrid cars, Reuters said.

Toshiba, which said last year it aimed for automotive parts sales of 50 billion yen ($US466.5 million) in the year ending March 2007, also plans to start manufacturing components such as exhaust gas purification units and collision avoidance systems, the report noted.

Another Japanese electronics conglomerate, Hitachi Ltd., aims to double its automotive parts sales to one trillion yen by the year starting in April 2010, Reuters said.

Toyota said last week that Ford would use some of its hybrid engine technology. Ford is the only US carmaker with plans to launch a true hybrid car this year, the report added.