Toyota not phased by Alliance talks

TOKYO — The president of Toyota Motor Corp. said his company’s business strategy won’t be affected by a possible three-way alliance between General Motors, Nissan and Renault, according to a news report Thursday.

Regardless of the outcome of the talks, which could result in an automotive juggernaut spanning the globe, “Toyota will keep carrying on its strategy," Katsuaki Watanabe was reported as saying by Kyodo News agency from France, where he planned to attend the Paris auto show.

Watanabe said it’s more important to focus on quality instead of quantity because sales volume will eventually increase if the product is good, Kyodo said.

Detroit-based General Motors Corp. agreed in July to enter confidential exploratory talks with France’s Renault SA and Japan’s Nissan Motor Co. — but has been coming under increasingly public pressure to sign up to a three-way alliance.

Executives from the companies met for talks on the eve of the Paris show. They have set an Oct. 15 deadline for deciding whether to press ahead with an alliance. Renault already owns a 44 percent stake in Nissan, which in turn holds 15 percent of the French car maker.

The drama of tie-up talks comes as the U.S. and European car industries cut jobs and costs as they struggle to keep up with Asian automakers like Toyota, which is on course to surpass GM and claim title to the world’s No. 1 automaker. More at Detroit Free Press

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