Toyota Motor Corporation and Mazda Motor Corporation have discussed electric vehicles and connected cars as part of at least 10 potential areas for cooperation, the latest indication of Japan’s automakers to join forces to cope with technological trends shaking up their automobile industry.
Mazda is having broad discussions with Toyota, Akira Marumoto, Mazda’s executive vice president, told reporters today at a briefing in Tokyo. He declined to provide more detail on talks the automakers have had since last year on expanding ties beyond their sharing of hybrid systems and compact car production in Mexico.
More joint work between Toyota and Mazda would add to a trend of Japan’s largest automakers consolidating the industry by way of acquisition or alliance. Toyota acquired mini-car maker Daihatsu Motors earlier this year and is already exploring a research and development partnership with Suzuki Motor Corporation. A fuel economy scandal also led Nissan to buy a stake in Mitsubishi Motors last month.
Toyota also is the majority owner of Hino Motors Ltd., the largest shareholder in Subaru maker Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. and has a stake in Isuzu Motors Ltd. President Akio Toyoda and Suzuki Chairman Osamu Suzuki said last month they began talks due to the daunting financial demands of keeping pace with advances in electrification and autonomous driving.