Volkswagen AG's new assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, is the first auto plant to receive the top environmental award from the U.S. Green Building Council, the company said on Thursday.

Toyota Motor Corp and Ford Motor Co will work together to develop hybrid trucks and SUVs that will be ready for market by the end of the decade, the two companies said on Monday.

Johnson Controls expects the number of vehicles built to allow "start-stop" technology will more than triple in five years as automakers worldwide seek better fuel efficiency.

Already included in some vehicles, start-stop allows a car's engine to shut off when the vehicle is at rest, for instance, at a stop light.