TOKYO -- Toyota Motor Corp. and General Motors have not decided yet to extend a pact under which the two automakers cooperate in research on fuel-cell vehicles, a Toyota spokesman said on Wednesday.
The comment was in response to earlier media reports that GM Chairman Rick Wagoner and Toyota President Katsuaki Watanabe would agree on an extension when they met in Tokyo on Wednesday.
The broad two-year agreement expires next March, and speculation about a further fine-tuning of the arrangement has been bubbling since May when Wagoner met with then-Toyota President Fujio Cho on his last trip to Japan.
Toyota confirmed the meeting took place, but the spokesman said no decision had been made on the agreement. He said the executives discussed "various issues" during their one-hour meeting, but declined to go into specifics.
It was Wagoner's first meeting with Watanabe since the latter inherited the top job in June.
Toyota and GM have ties that go back more than 20 years through a joint car manufacturing plant in California.
An agreement to simply extend the fuel-cell research pact would do little to take the cooperation further.
The world's two biggest automakers have so far developed their own hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, and have said little publicly about tangible results of their joint research efforts over the last six years.
The companies originally had a five-year deal to work together in the fields of electric vehicle, hybrid and fuel-cell research, and narrowed that to the fuel-cell area from March 2004.
Wagoner is in Japan after a trip to China to announce an agreement to explore hybrid production with local partner SAIC Motor Corp.
On Tuesday, Nov.1, he met with the CEOs of Suzuki Motor Corp. and Isuzu Motors Ltd., in which GM owns minority stakes, for a regular chat about business conditions, spokesmen at the Japanese automakers said.