Toyota’s fuel efficient sedans and SUVs caters to design-conscious consumers in the US.
As per a sourced briefed with the matter at hand, Toyota Motor Corp and Mazda Motor Corp are set to collaborate on developing a $1.6 billion U.S assembly plant as part of their new joint venture.
The plant will have a capacity of producing 300,000 vehicles a year, with the production divided between the both automakers; the joint venture will provide employment to 4,000 people when it opens in 2021, said the source while adding the location of the plant is yet to be determined.
Japanese business daily, Nikkei has confirmed the new bulletin saying Toyota would take an approximate 5% stake in Mazda Motor Corp to develop key electric vehicle technologies and jointly build a factory in the U.S.
Toyota stated both companies have been exploring various areas of collaboration under their May 2015 agreement. A proposal of the same will be presented to their respective boards on Friday.
“The industry pace of electrification has really picked up,” said Takeshi Uchiyamada, Toyota’s Chairman, who is widely known as the father of the Prius hybrid.
In its statement, Mazda disclosed “nothing has been decided yet” and did not comment any further.
“Mazda needs electrification technology. In the past they’ve poo-pooed EVs, they’ve felt that they can make internal combustion engines more efficient, but the bottom line is that globally you need to have this technology,” said Janet Lewis, head of Asia transportation research at Macquarie Securities.
Faced with a R&D budget of around 140 billion yen ($1.27 billion) this year, a fraction of Toyota’s 1 trillion yen, Mazda said it lacks the funds to develop electric cars on its own.
Incidentally, Japan’s smallest major automaker, Subaru Corp also has a partnership with Toyota.