Toyota Motor Corp. and General Motors Corp. will be “renewing equipment” at the auto makers’ 50/50 joint venture plant in Fremont, CA.

The 22-year-old New United Motor Mfg. Inc., which produces the Toyota Tacoma pickup truck and GM’s Pontiac Vibe hatchback, is set to receive upgraded equipment, Toyota says.

"We regularly invest in our production lines when necessary in an effort to keep them as optimized as possible,” Toyota says in a statement. “With the condition of the some of the equipment at NUMMI deteriorating (over the years), we are renewing equipment.”

A report in a Japanese newspaper suggests the two auto makers are investing in the plant as a way for Toyota to boost its relationship with GM, and for GM to stave off a possible alliance with Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. and Renault SA.

“Unlike what has been reported in the news, this is not intended as an effort to strengthen ties with GM,” Toyota says.

Toyota did not divulge the amount of the investment it was making in upgrading NUMMI.