The two Japanese rivals, one the largest automaker in the world and the other a smaller peer, have announced a long-term collaboration that would expand beyond the already existing project-based partnership.
The two competitors are making a step towards the industry consolidation preached so arduously over the past few months by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles chief executive officer Sergio Marchionne, who has argued that survival is dependant of the tie-ups. Automakers across the globe are increasingly relying on each other to overcome the massive scale costs and trying to spread thin the massive investments needed to bring to life new technologies. Toyota and Mazda, for their part, announced their collaboration would span across a very broad range of sectors – from environmental to advanced technologies, but also focus on developing a learning-based relationship, aimed at delivering the best and most appealing cars. “It’s not at all about scale, or something that can be seen or measured,” commented Toyota President Akio Toyoda during the announcement conference, also mirroring the partnership to an “engagement”.”We think we have a lot to learn from Mazda,” he added.
Both Toyoda and the Mazda president Masamichi Kogai refrained from answering questions on whether the cooperation would also reach a capital alliance level. The two companies have formed a joint committee to decide the best direction of the collaboration and the agreements would reach “beyond the traditional framework of cooperation.” The two firms already have technology and production partnerships – with Mazda delivering in the near future a small sedan for the Scion brand from its factory in Mexico, while Toyota delivers gasoline-electric hybrid technology to its counterpart.