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Toyota to share next Mazda2

Toyota too: The next Mazda2 light car will roll off the Mexican production lines with Toyota badges “mainly for North America”.

Mazda signs another model-sharing deal, this time with Toyota for Mazda2

12 Nov 2012

MAZDA will share its next Mazda2 with Toyota from 2015 under yet another alliance designed to help Mazda improve efficiencies and profit.

It is unclear if the Toyota deal to share the Mazda2 from a new Mazda plant now under construction in Mexico will extend to other production centres such as Japan – source of the current Mazda2 and its rival, the Toyota Yaris, for Australia.

It is also unclear how the Mazda-sourced car will sit in the Toyota line-up, given that the similar-sized Yaris has been on the market for only a year.

The joint media release says Toyota will help to fund both the development cost of the car and new production facilities at the Mexican plant that is set to come on stream in the financial year ending March 2014.

The statement said the Toyota-branded vehicle would be produced at the plant “for sale mainly in North America”. There was no reference to the other markets.

“Through the agreement, TMC (Toyota Motor Corporation) aims to strengthen is North American vehicle lineup, while Mazda aims to increase production efficiency and contribute to its profitability,” the statement said.

 center imageFrom top: Toyota Yaris Mazda MX-5.

Almost a third of the plant’s capacity of 140,000 units a year will be turned over to the unnamed Toyota model that will start production in mid-2015.

The new model-sharing alliance with Toyota comes just six months after Mazda announced it would share its next MX-5 sportscar with Alfa Romeo, presumably for a born-again Alfa Spider, from 2015.

Mazda already has an extensive alliance with Ford, sharing development and production of the Mazda BT-50/Ford Ranger ute, although Mazda has started to move away from shared passenger car platforms with its former parent by developing its own SkyActiv chassis architecture.

Toyota has its own network of alliances, including the deal with Subaru to share the Toyota 86/Subaru BTZ sports coupe that is made in a Subaru factory in Japan.

Toyota Australia public relations manager Mike Breen told GoAuto that the main market for the Mazda-derived Toyota vehicle would be North America.

"Other destinations are still be considered," he said.

Mazda Australia public relations manager Steve Maciver said the North American model-sharing agreement would have no immediate or direct effect on Mazda Australia.

“We will continue to source our range from Japan and we have no plans to change that,” he said.

“As you’ll have heard over the past year or so, Mazda is actively looking for alliances and this latest announcement, along with the recent memorandum of understanding with Alfa Romeo, is another step in that direction.

“These alliances will have a positive effect on Mazda’s production efficiency and profit.”

Work on the new Mexican factory – Mazda’s first south of the border – started in October 2011.

Apart from the Mazda2 and its Toyota derivative, the plant will make Mazda3 for North America.

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