losangelesnewstoday.com March 19, 2018

Toyota and Mazda team on EVs, V2V and the Millennial menace

05 August 2017, 12:24 | Maryann Sutton

Toyota, Mazda to form capital alliance for joint EV development

Mazda Makes a Right Turn

Japan's Nikkei reported on Thursday that Toyota would take a roughly 5 percent stake in Mazda Motor Corp to develop key electric vehicle technologies and jointly build a factory in the United States.

The Japanese auto giants agreed to establish a £1.6bn joint venture plant in the U.S. with equal funding contributions, with the goal of beginning operations in 2021 and eventually producing 300,000 vehicles a year. But because the new plant will build the Corolla, chances are it will be located near Toyota's current Corolla plant in MS to be close to parts supply companies. Instead, it will manufacture Tacoma pickups at the Mexico plant which is now under construction. Toyota and Mazda judged that it is necessary to heighten efficiency through cooperation.

He was appointed past year to lead Toyota's newly formed electric auto division, flagging the group's commitment to a technology it has been slow to embrace.

Toyota, which has been vying against the Japan-France alliance of Nissan-Renault, Volkswagen AG of Germany and USA manufacturer General Motors Co. for the spot of world's No. 1 automaker, stuck to its earlier projection for global vehicle sales for the fiscal year at 10.25 million vehicles.

"It is also the realization of our desire to never let cars become commodities", said Toyota President Akio Toyoda.

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The Japanese automakers said in a statement Friday that the facility would be operational by 2021, but did not specify where it would be built. In February it announced a plan to co-operate with Suzuki in research and development, and already works with Subaru on a compact sports vehicle model.

Toyota has been forging alliances with domestic rivals in an effort to boost competitiveness.

The US President had previously attacked Toyota because it had planned to produce its Corolla model at a new plant in Mexico. "The new presidential administration has made it clear investments in the US are a top priority, and this plant may be another nod to that mindset", said Anand.

Toyota spokesman Scott Vazin said the company would continue to make the Corolla at its MS manufacturing plant, as well, with no changes planned there. "This plant is a great example of Toyota's know-how and ingenuity, and of course its match with the work force and our partners in the community Together, we make such a great team, and through this teamwork, we've made some fantastic accomplishments".

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