Toyota and Mazda to Build U.S. Plant – Share EV, Connected-Car and Safety Technology

By Steve & Tamami Laser; with Nahoko Osuka reporting from Japan

Toyota and Mazda announced in Tokyo today that the two automakers are accelerating their partnership with a new business and capital alliance. The companies plan to build a new auto plant in the U.S., jointly develop technologies for electric vehicles and connected-car technologies, collaborate on advanced safety tech, and share more vehicles, possibly on a global level.

The new U.S. plant would build about 300,000 vehicles per year with the goal to start operations in 2021 (pending approvals). Toyota and Mazda said that the new plant will require an investment of about $1.6 billion (USD) and create up to 4,000 jobs. Toyota plans to build the Corolla there while Mazda will focus on producing new crossover models.

Here’s the press conference video recorded earlier today in Japan where Toyota and Mazda announced their agreement to enter a business capital alliance and strengthen ties with a new U.S. joint-venture plant and more. (video: Toyota Motor Corp.)

Toyota and Mazda will also explore joint development of technologies for electric vehicles, onboard multimedia infotainment systems and connected technologies. In addition, Toyota will cooperate with Mazda in Toyota’s vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) tech “with the ultimate goal of creating a mobile society devoid of accidents.”

“The greatest fruit of our partnership with Mazda is that we have found a new partner who truly loves cars,” said Toyota President Akio Toyoda (above). “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. It is also the realization of our desire to never let cars become commodities.”

“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,” said Masamichi Kogai (above), President and CEO of Mazda.

At the new U.S. plant, Toyota plans to produce the Corolla for the North American market. We don’t know what the 2021 Corolla will look like, so we’ve inserted a photo above of the current 2017 model.

Mazda plans to build crossovers that will be new for the North American market. Mazda’s current lineup includes the popular 2017 CX-5 shown above. Mazda is currently building the Yaris iA for Toyota in North America. Meanwhile, Toyota is planning to supply a compact commercial “two-box” van to Mazda in Japan. Beyond this, the companies will further explore the possibilities of other complementary products “on a global level.”

Toyota and Mazda agreed to a capital alliance that “preserves independence and equality for both companies.” Toyota will subscribe for and acquire shares to be newly issued by Mazda through a third-party allotment, and Mazda will subscribe and acquire third-party allocation shares of treasury stock disposed of by Toyota in the equivalent amount in value to the Mazda shares. The value of the shares mutually acquired by both companies will be equivalent, said the automakers.

On May 13, 2015, Toyota and Mazda entered an agreement to build a continuous partnership that would mutually benefit the companies in leveraging resources and complementing each other’s products and technologies.

News source, photos and video courtesy Toyota Motor Corp. and Mazda Motor Corp.

Story © 2017