Toyota Mazda said in a statement that it plans to suggest to its board a company with Mazda. It gave no further details. Mazda failed comment. A person informed on the matter, who did not want to be identified because an official statement hasn’t been made, confirmed the company.
Japani automakers Toyota Motor Corp. and Mazda Motor Corp. are joining in electric cars with a deal that may lead to setting up an assembly plant in the US. The Japanese Nikkei business daily reported Friday the agreement will include working toward setting up a US joint-undertaking plant and cooperation on electric vehicle technology.
Toyota said in a report that it plans to suggest to its board a company with Mazda. It gave no further details. Mazda declined comment. A person briefed on the matter, who did not want to be recognized because an official statement hasn’t been made, confirmed the partnership.
President Donald Trump has been urging Toyota and other Japanese automakers to invest and build more vehicles in the US.
Using the same plant to shape cars can improve cost-efficiency. EVs have become an progressively competitive market segment because of concerns about global warming and the setting.
Japanese rival Nissan Motor Co., which is allied with Renault SA of France and Mitsubishi Motors Corp., is the global leader in electric cars.
In the past, Toyota, which makes the Prius hybrid, Camry sedan and Lexus luxury models, was not overly muscular on electric vehicles, noting the limited cruise range of the technology. But recent advances in batteries allows for longer travel per charge.
The Nikkei reported that two Japanese automakers are negotiating an agreement in which Toyota will take about a 5 percent stake in Mazda.
Mazda, which makes the Miata roadster, would also take a stake in Toyota, rendering to the report. In 2015, Toyota and Mazda agreed to find new areas where they can work together, but they had not proclaimed specifics. Toyota already provides hybrid technology to Mazda, which also makes dense cars for Toyota at its Mexico plant.
Mazda, based in Hiroshima, Japan, used to have a influential partner in Dearborn-based Ford Motor Co., which bought 25 percent of Mazda in 1979, and raised it to 33.4 percent in 1996. But Ford began cutting ties in 2008, and has shed its stake in Mazda. Toyota is vying for the spot of the world’s No. 1 automaker in global vehicle sales in contradiction of Nissan-Renault and Volkswagen AG of Germany, as the industry gradually combines.
A capital tie-up with Mazda would be the latest addition to Toyota’s sprawling empire, which comprises Japanese truck maker Hino Motors and minicar maker Daihatsu Motor Co. It is also the top stockholder in Fuji Heavy Industries, the maker of Subaru cars.