Weekly Recap: Toyota, Mazda Team Up To ‘Make Cars Better’

Toyota and Mazda are teaming for a noble purpose: to “make cars better.” That’s how the two Japanese automakers termed their partnership, which was announced this week.

Toyota, Mazda team up

So what does this actually mean?

The companies said they will set up a joint committee to look for areas of cooperation and named safety and the environment as issues they plan to tackle. From a product perspective, it’s believed that Toyota is interested in Mazda’s Skyactive engine portfolio. In turn, Mazda has its eye on Toyota’s fuel-cell and plug-in hybrid technology.

While more specifics were not confirmed, the companies said the “agreement will go beyond the traditional framework of cooperation,” and it has the potential to be a long-range partnership.

“The main purpose of this initiative is to enhance the appeal of our cars,” Toyota president Akio Toyoda said at the announcement.

Previously, Mazda has licensed Toyota’s hybrid tech and assembled compact cars for Toyota in Mexico. Akio Toyoda said these projects “triggered” the automakers to explore further collaboration.

Dave Sullivan, product analysis manager for AutoPacific, said the tie-up echoes Daimler’s wide-ranging work with the Renault-Nissan alliance. “This could be a well-groomed match due to each having very unique skill sets,” he said.

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