Toyota, Ford logos
Toyota, Ford logos - 
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MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: Toyota is confirming talks with Ford Motor, but the Japanese carmaker says the two did not discuss the possibility of forming any alliance.

An earlier Japanese press report called last week's meeting in Tokyo the first step in potential partnership negotiations, but today Toyota called it a "get-acquainted meeting."

The report cited unnamed sources saying Ford was interested in Toyota's hybrid and fuel-cell technologies.

Ford is also interested in Toyota's work in reducing manufacturing and parts procurement costs.

The report says Toyota could be considering a partnership as a way to ease potential friction with the U.S. auto industry.

Toyota is poised to overtake GM and become the world's biggest auto company next year.

For its part, Ford is struggling to bounce back from one of the worst crises in its history.