Ford, Toyota Join Forces on Hybrid System Partnership prompted by airport-terminal chat By Matt Cantor, Newser User Posted Aug 22, 2011 12:44 PM CDT 12 comments Comments Derrick Kuzak, Ford Motor Company group vice president, Global Product Development, left, and Takeshi Uchiyamada, Toyota Motor Corporation executive vice president, Research & Development shake hands... (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Newser) – A trans-Pacific partnership between Ford and Toyota is set to bring us a new generation of hybrid vehicles. The two companies will join together in creating a gas-electric hybrid system suited to light trucks and SUVs, the Wall Street Journal reports. The two firms already have hybrid systems that power front-wheel drive cars; now, they’ll aim to make rear-wheel drive vehicles more efficient within the next decade. Just a few weeks ago, President Obama announced new, tougher fuel economy standards which are “are a big challenge for us auto makers,” says Toyota’s head of research and development. But “the American society can't do without trucks and SUVs.” Adds Ford’s CEO: This is the kind of collaborative effort that is required to address the big global challenges of energy independence and environmental sustainability.” The partnership stems from a conversation struck up between the companies’ bosses in an airport terminal, says the Toyota rep.