David Kiley of BusinessWeek writes on the magazine’s Auto Beat blog that the publication stands behind its recent Toyota story that quoted a former executive now at Chrysler despite the company’s claims that what he said was false.
Kiley wrote, “In a wide-ranging interview with Businessweek editors and two correspondents that also included Chrysler LLC CEO Robert Nardelli and vice chairman Tom Lasorda, Press said on-the-record, ‘The Japanese government paid for 100% of the development of the battery and hybrid system that went into the Toyota Prius.’ He did not specify the forms those investments took. But the statement contradicted those made by Press when he was a Toyota employee.
“Toyota refutes Pressâ€™s claim. ‘I can say 100 per cent that Toyota received absolutely no support — no money, no grants — from the Japanese government for the development of the Prius,’ said Toyotaâ€™s Tokyo-based spokesman Paul Nolasco.
“In a statement by Press released through a spokesperson, he doesnâ€™t refute what he said to BusinessWeek on March 20. ‘The Japanese government strongly supported R & D (research and development) investment in battery development, and the Prius and other Japanese models benefited from that investment.’ He cited this ‘investment’ as an example of cooperation for the U.S. government and industry. ‘Instead of being at odds with each other over CAFE [Corporate Average Fuel Economy] and other policies that put U.S. companies at a disadvantage, the two should work together to find technological improvements that help give U.S. companies a competitive advantage,’ said Press.”
Read more here. The auto media are going crazy about the brouhaha.