Toyota and Mazda Form Alliance to Build New $1.6 Billion Plant in the U.S.
The two companies also plan to collaborate on EV technology.
Japanese automotive giant Toyota announced in a press release Friday a mutual investment deal with Mazda to build a new, $1.6 billion auto plant in the U.S. and develop electric vehicle tech together. The deal would include Toyota taking on approximately 5 percent of Mazda, with Mazda snapping up an undetermined amount of the former automaker as well.
The future Toyota-Mazda joint venture plant will likely be built in the American South, employ 4,000 people, begin operation in 2021, and be capable of producing 300,000 vehicles a year, the majority of them being—you guessed it—crossovers, according to Nikkei. The SUVs produced there won't be some jointly developed ToyoMazdas, however, with the two automakers sharing floor space and some production methods, but largely doing and selling their own stuff. Think of them as factory floor roommates—to save some cash, they'll share a TV and occasionally use each other's coffee mugs, but bedrooms stay separate.
In response to growing environmental and political pressure, the two Japanese car firms are also collaborating on the development of "key electric vehicle technologies," with Toyota reportedly planning to have a bona fide EV on the market by 2020 and Mazda targeting a 2019 launch of an electrically-powered Zoom-Zoom machine of their own, in spite of one Mazda exec's stance on the matter. Similar to the factory situation, the final design and production of each automaker's EVs will be done independently.
UPDATE (Aug. 4, 11:20 a.m. EST): This post has been updated to show that Toyota confirmed the announcement in a press release Friday.