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Ford Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. are discussing plans to jointly develop a new electric-gasoline hybrid vehicle that they may also jointly produce in North America, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday on its Web site.

The two automakers began considering the tieup in July 2000 and the pace of their talks “has picked up during the past few months,” said John Wallace, the executive director of Ford’s alternative-propulsion division, according to the U.S. business newspaper.

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