Toyota is in talks with Mazda to supply hybrid technology found in the Prius, it has been reported.
A tie-in would suggest Mazda is shunning the hybrid technology currently being developed by Ford, which still owns around 13.8 per cent of Mazda.
Toyota reiterated today that it would consider sharing its green technology with other manufacturers in a bid to boost global sales.
The Nikkei, Japan's top business daily, reported that the two car makers were in the final stages of an agreement under which Toyota would supply Mazda with the key components of its hybrid system, including the battery, motor and other electronics.
Ford recently sold a large part of its stake in Mazda, and a deal with Toyota would allow Mazda more independence from the US giant.
However, both Mazda and Toyota have said a deal has not been done.
“Toyota does not have a plan to supply Mazda with hybrid systems,” a Toyota spokesman told Autocar.