Toyota and Mazda strike long-term partnership to share tech

Published: 13 May 2015

► Mazda, Toyota in new ‘long-term partnership’
► Focus on sharing technologies, engine know-how
► Possible joint products, fuel-cell collaboration

Two giants of the Japanese car manufacturing scene, Toyota and Mazda, today announced they were tying the knot in a new long-term partnership. 

The deal will see the two brands collaborate on future products and share tech developments as each struggles to stay ahead in a competitive environment. Developing tomorrow’s technologies is becoming a seriously expensive business and even large corporations such as Toyota are keen to share the burden.

It is keen to tap into Mazda’s Skyactiv petrol and diesel know-how, while Mazda in return wants to benefit from its partner’s expertise in hybrids and hydrogen fuel-cell technology.

The new Toyota-Mazda partnership

This is not a capital alliance, the two companies stressed. But a joint committee is being established to work out how the two neighbouring businesses can collaborate more effectively ‘across a range of fields, including environmental and advanced safety technologies.’

‘This is an engagement announcement, not a marriage announcement,’ Toyota president Akio Toyoda told reporters. In a candid question and answer session, he admitted that ‘in a sense, Mazda is ahead of us in many areas’ - a nod to the success enjoyed by the independent minion since it was cut free of the shackles of Ford part ownership.

Why the two Japanese car makers are joining forces

‘As evidenced by their Skyactiv Technologies and Kodo Soul of Motion design, Mazda has proven that it always thinks of what is coming next for vehicles and technology, while still managing to stay true to its basic car making roots,’ Toyoda added. ‘In this way, Mazda very much practices what Toyota holds dear: making ever-better cars. I am delighted that our two companies can share the same vision and work together to make cars better.’

Mazda president and CEO Masamichi Kogai said he admired Toyota’s focus on environmental issues and was confident his company would be stronger by working together.

The two partners have form: Mazda has licensed earlier hybrid car tech from Toyota and they both share production of compact cars in Mazda’s Mexican factory.

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet