TOKYO - Toyota Motor Corp. is considering a request by General Motors to market GM vehicles on Toyota's Gazoo Japanese-language Web site, according to a Toyota spokesman.
'We've received a proposal from General Motors that they want to join Gazoo,' Toyota spokesman Koki Konishi said. 'We are discussing it internally now, but haven't decided anything yet.'
Pat Morrissey, a spokesman for GM's e-GM electronic-commerce business unit, said GM so far has talked informally with Toyota about joining Gazoo. 'It's clearly a leading site (in Japan), so we're interested in exploring opportunities,' he said.
GM has abandoned its former go-it-alone strategy and increasingly sought partnerships in Asia in its quest to raise its market share in the region to 10 percent from about 4 percent.
In December, it said it would take a 20 percent stake in Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., maker of Subaru cars, to complement its existing equity stakes of 10 percent in Suzuki Motor Corp. and 49 percent in Isuzu Motors Ltd.
In addition, GM has been linked with Toyota on technical issues and Honda Motor Co. in a joint engine swap between Honda and Isuzu.
Toyota's Gazoo site began as little more than a corporate information site, quoting the official list prices of vehicles and offering online catalogs of parts and accessories.
Toyota has bigger plans for the site, however, and in January split it off as a separate division. It recently announced plans to link with a Japanese online retailer of music and games.
Toyota has placed dedicated Gazoo terminals in Toyota dealerships as well as in more than 3,000 in convenience stores and video-rental chains across Japan.
Staff Reporter Joe Miller contributed to this report