The two Japanese auto manufacturers Toyota and Mazda will be partnering for the development of a new $1.6 billion assembly plant in the US, as well as for the development of electric vehicle technologies.
As part of the new partnership, Toyota will be acquiring a 5% stake in Mazda and Mazda will be acquiring a 0.25% stake in Toyota — the disparity in those figures is because Toyota is a much larger firm.
The new assembly plant will reportedly be capable of producing around 300,000 vehicles a year. Facility employee numbers are expected to be around 4,000. Operations are currently expected to begin by 2021.
Reuters provides more: “The electric vehicles cooperation, meanwhile, comes as the tightening of global emissions regulations prompts more automakers to develop battery powered cars, as the industry struggles with hefty research costs and intense competition from technology companies over technology like self-driving cars.
“As part of the agreement, Toyota and Mazda will also work together to develop in-car information technologies and automated driving functions.”
That shouldn’t come as a big surprise. The general consensus across the industry seems to be that we’re moving toward an era of robotaxis, cars that will logically be electric and packed with infotainment (and will be able to drive themselves, of course).
Going on: “Mazda stands to gain from a deal that gives the small automaker a production foothold in the United States. At the moment, Mazda ships all vehicles sold in the country, its biggest market, from its plants in Japan and Mexico.
“It also gets a boost in electric cars. With an R&D budget of around 140 billion yen ($1.27 billion) this year, a fraction of Toyota’s 1 trillion yen, Mazda has said that it lacks the funds to develop electric cars on its own, a view shared by Subaru and Suzuki.”
The news shouldn’t be too surprising, as Toyota has been forging and deepening partnerships with its fellow auto manufacturers in Japan for some time now. The company now owns a 16.5% stake in Subaru, for instance.
Image by Zach Shahan