Mazda has reached a general agreement with Toyota to use its hybrid technology for future products. According to a report in Japanese English daily Yomiuri Shimbun, Toyota will sell Mazda parts like the electric motor, control system and other major components of its industry-leading Prius. Like Toyota, Mazda’s electric components will come from Panasonic.
The paper’s source suggests the first model to get the hybrid technology will not be a new vehicle, but a version of the Mazda3 – sold as the Axela in Japan. It is expected to hit the market by 2013.
Since Ford Motor Co. recently broke many of its ties with Mazda the small automaker has been struggling to find partners in the industry in an effort to stay current. Under Ford control, Mazda was using hybrid technology from the American automaker, but since Ford sold off much of its stake in Mazda, the Japanese company has been on its own.
Along with the amount paid for the Toyota parts, Toyota will benefit in the deal from reduced parts costs due to a larger scale. A formal deal is expected soon.
With Suzuki recently announcing a partnership with Volkswagen and rumors that Mitsubishi would join with Peugeot Citroen, it has been suggested that Mazda is looking to join with a large player in the auto industry. There are, however, no reports of a larger asset agreement between the two Japanese automakers.
[Source: Yomiuri Shimbun]