Toyota to invest in Mazda

Toyota has announced it will take a five per cent share of Japanese rival Mazda.

According to Reuters, the pair will then work together to build a new $1.6bn plant in America while also developing electric vehicles. The plant, due to be operational in 2021, will be able to produce 300,000 vehicles a year, with production divided between the two automakers, and employ about 4,000 people.

Toyota President Akio Toyoda, said, ‘There will be new rivals appearing – Apple, Google – these are IT companies, we also need to compete with them, too.’

Toyota aims for all of its vehicles to be zero emission by 2050, but had favoured EVs for short-distance commuting, given their limited driving range and lengthy charging time. However, it has been investing heavily in hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles (FCVs).

As part of the agreement, as well as electric car technology, Toyota and Mazda will work together to develop in-car information technologies and automated driving functions.