Kez Casey | Aug 7, 2017

Japanese automakers Toyota and Mazda have announced a new stage in their ongoing partnership, with joint production facilities, electric vehicles, and connectivity the focus of the newest alliance.

The deal, worth US$1.6 billion dollars, will see the two companies establish a joint production facility in the United States where Mazda currently lacks a manufacturing presence. The new facility will provide 4000 jobs with a production capacity of up to 300,000 cars per year.

The factory, set to come online by 2021 will produce the Corolla for North America, while Mazda will build a newly-introduced crossover at the facility.

Mazda CX-5
Mazda CX-5

Toyota and Mazda will also jointly develop electric vehicle technologies, an area where both companies trail the likes of the Volkswagen Group. Specific details of the collaboration are yet to be announced but the deal focuses on technologies for the basic structure of electric vehicles, indicating a shared, flexible EV platform could be possible.

Currently Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive system is used in conjunction with Mazda’s SkyActiv engine in the Japan-only Mazda3 Hybrid, sold under its domestic market Axela name.

Advanced connectivity solutions will also form part of the program, with everything from multimedia infotainment platforms to vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications systems will be aligned including an array of related safety systems.

“Nothing would please me more than if, through this alliance, we can help to energize the auto industry and create more car fans by bringing together two competitive spirits to spur each other on, leading to innovations and fostering talent and leaders.” Mazda CEO Masamichi Kogai said

The deal also includes a “capital alliance” that will see each firm buy a small share in the other with Toyota buying a 5.05 percent stake in Mazda and Mazda taking a 0.25 percent stake in Toyota.

Toyota Yaris iA
Toyota Yaris iA

As a final part of the plan, the two will also look at complementary product sharing, building on an existing agreement that sees the Mazda2 sedan sold as the Toyota Yaris iA (formerly the Scion iA, above) in the United States, although no future product sharing was hinted at, at this early stage.

“The greatest fruit of our partnership with Mazda is that we have found a new partner who truly loves cars," Toyota President Akio Toyoda said

“It has also sparked Toyota’s competitive spirit, increasing our sense of not wanting to be bested by Mazda. This is a partnership in which those who are passionate about cars will work together to make ever-better cars."

MORE News and Reviews: Toyota | Mazda

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