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Toyota president Katsuaki Watanabe said today his company is forming a long-anticipated partnership with GM on hydrogen fuel-cell development. Of course, he quickly said Toyota doesn't want to lose that market to GM or Ford, and so will compete fiercely to beat them both. (Toyota's five-year plan is to capture 15% of global market share by 2010, which will likely put it ahead of GM, barring an automotive miracle.) Watanabe said details on the deal are forthcoming. It won't be the first time the companies have enjoied sandbox time. Strangely enough, just as the companies have been battling each other for the #1 spot, they've also been collaborating. Since 1984, GM and Toyota have operated a joint venture, New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. (NUMMI), which operates a joint GM/Toyota production plant in Fremont, California that produces Toyota Corollas and Tacoma pickups, as well as Pontiac Vibe models โ€” and once built Chevy's Corolla clone, the Nova (no, not that Nova).

GM, Toyota Reportedly In Talks on Fuel-Cell Venture; GM and Toyota Agree to Stronger Partnership on Eco-Friendly Technologies [internal]