Mazda is reportedly in talks with Toyota over the prospect of licensing hybrid technology from Japan’s largest automaker for use in future green cars. Currently Nissan has a similar arrangement with Toyota for the Altima Hybrid.
Mazda currently has one hybrid model, the Tribute HEV (pictured above), which is based on the Escape Hybrid and that SUV’s hybrid technology developed by Ford. Mazda is now seeking out new partners as Ford recently sold-off with much of its stake in the Japanese automaker. And with only a minority interest in the company Ford isn’t likely to share its new breed of more powerful and more efficient hybrid powertrains.
Neither Toyota nor Mazda have commented on the talks. Instead two unnamed sources familiar with the discussions were sourced in the original story in Japan’s Nikkei business paper. The deal would reportedly see Toyota supply Mazda with batteries, motors and control units. This would also help Toyota cut costs on its hybrid products by buying components in larger quantities than it has previously.
When the story broke it sent Mazda’s shares through the roof with a 12.4 percent increase. They eventually calmed to a 6.6 percent increase.
Mazda is reportedly looking to launch a hybrid model by 2013. In the mean time the automaker is still planning on improving its fuel-economy through improvements to its gasoline engines.
According to the Nikkei story Mazda and Toyota are preparing to announce their hybrid partnership in the near future.