With the world moving towards electrification, Japanese manufacturers Toyota and Mazda have decided to come together to build a $1.6 billion U.S. assembly plant as part of an alliance that will also see the Japanese automakers jointly develop electric vehicle technologies.
The two will take small stakes in each other as part of the tie-up. Toyota, the world's second-largest automaker by vehicle sales last year, will take a 5 per cent share of Mazda, extending its dominance in Japan's auto sector. Mazda will take a 0.25 per cent share of its larger rival. The plant will be capable of producing 300,000 vehicles a year, with production divided between the two automakers, and employ about 4,000 people. It will start operating in 2021.
As part of the agreement, Toyota and Mazda will also work together to develop in-car information technologies and automated driving functions. Toyota is also courting compact car maker Suzuki to cooperate on R&D and parts supply as Toyota seeks to tap its smaller rival's expertise in emerging Asian markets.