Toyota has taken a 5% stake in Mazda in a move which sees the two parties building a joint plant in the US worth $1.6 billion. Toyota also says that it is increasing investments in automotive technologies such as self-driving, AI and green technology.
Toyota has not exactly been known to be at the forefront of automotive technology. Its lack a fair bit of the newer technologies offered by the competition. This situation is only worsened due to pressure from tech giants such as Google, Apple and even Amazon.
Here are more details of the joint venture between Toyota and Mazda in the US.
Establish a joint venture that produces vehicles in the U.S.
As part of the new alliance, Toyota and Mazda have agreed to explore establishing a joint venture plant in the U.S. with equal funding contributions. The plant would have an estimated annual production capacity of approximately 300,000 units. Pending approvals and authorisation by relevant government agencies, the companies will begin to examine detailed plans with the goal to starting operations of the new plant in 2021. The plant will require a total investment of approximately $1.6 billion, and will create up to 4,000 jobs. In addition to the collaboration in product and technology areas that the companies have enjoyed thus far, Toyota and Mazda intend to improve competitiveness in manufacturing through this new production collaboration.
At the new plant, Mazda expects to produce cross-over models that Mazda will newly introduce to the North American market, and Toyota plans to produce the Corolla for the North American market.
By producing vehicles in the U.S., Mazda aims to build a production structure to further grow in North America. These activities will allow the company to more quickly respond to its customers’ needs depending on the region and model.
By further increasing its production capacity in the U.S., Toyota is to further pursue management that is closer to the region, as a measure to improve its response to the growing North American market. At Toyota’s new plant in Guanajuato, Mexico, which is currently under construction, Toyota plans to produce the Tacoma, instead of the Corolla. There will be no substantial impact on Toyota’s investment and employment plan there.
Jointly develop technologies for electric vehicles
With increasing demand and expectations for electric vehicles worldwide, Toyota and Mazda are to explore joint development of technologies for the basic structure of competitive electric vehicles, mobilizing and exchanging expertise freely and actively. These technologies will allow the companies to respond quickly to regulations and market trends in each country. Specific details of the collaboration will be determined as the companies work together going forward.
Jointly develop connected technology and collaborate on advanced safety technologies
Toyota and Mazda will work together to jointly develop technologies for onboard multimedia infotainment systems in preparation for increased use of in-car information technologies and the increasing demand for connected technologies. In addition, Toyota will cooperate with Mazda in Toyota’s vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technologies with the ultimate goal of creating a mobile society devoid of accidents.
Expand complementary products
Currently, Mazda is supplying a compact sedan to Toyota in North America. In addition, Toyota is 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.
[Source: Toyota & TechCrunch]