Japan's top automaker Toyota Motor Corp has flatly denied it was forming tie-ups with US giant Ford Motor Co and Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) of Germany, Associated Free Press reports.

"There is no such thing at all," company president Fujio Cho told a news conference, commenting on reports speculating about a capital tie-up between Toyota and Ford.

On technological and other cooperation with Ford and other foreign rivals, Cho said: "I cannot rule out such a possibility in the future. But there is no specific discussion at present."

A Toyota spokesman meanwhile denied a newspaper report that the company was planning to supply diesel engines for compact cars to BMW.

"At this moment Toyota has no such kind of plan," public relations general manager Tetsuo Kitagawa told AFP. "We can't comment on this speculative kind of story."

The Asahi Shimbun reported on Saturday that Toyota planned to supply a new 1,400cc diesel engine to BMW in 2002.

The engine is currently being developed for Toyota's popular compact passenger car known as the Vitz in Japan and the Yaris in Europe.

The tie-up with BMW underlined Toyota's "multi-faceted" strategy involving cooperation with other automakers in specific areas, the daily said.

Toyota is engaged in joint development of environmentally sound technology with General Motors Corp. and is cooperating with BMW's fierce rival Volkswagen AG on Japanese sales of Volkswagen models.

It also buys diesel engines from PSA Peugeot-Citroen of France for its small passenger cars.

Reports of a possible strategic tie-up with Ford surfaced, with Monday's Asian Wall Street Journal adding that the companies were in early talks on cooperating over minicars.