Toyota Motor Corp. is partnering with Mazda to produce a new type of small car for the North American market. The new Mazda model, the tiny Mazda2, is meant specifically to compete with vehicles such as the Ford Fiesta, Hyundai Accent, Chevrolet Sonic and Honda Fit.
The new models will be built at the new Mazda plant in Mexico and is scheduled to begin production in 2014. The first 50,000 Mazda2 vehicles are slated to go into dealerships in 2015.
According to a joint statement from Toyota and Mazda, “Through the agreement, TMC aims to strengthen its North American vehicle lineup, while Mazda aims to increase production efficiency and contribute to its profitability.”
Toyota has shown it is willing to work with any company if it means the manufacturer can capture a larger share of the market. In fact, by partnering with Mazda Toyota will now have a locally produced vehicle which can compete in the small car market without the need for shipping it halfway around the world. It also stands to benefit from the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Without the ability (or desire) to partner with other manufacturers Toyota would be left in the awkward position of falling behind when it comes to competing in the automobile manufacturing market. Toyota has been working steadily to regain its former luster as the world’s most popular automobile manufacturer. Through its willingness to work with other automobile manufacturers Toyota is taking steps to make that happen and place itself back in the running for the gold car of automobile manufacturing.