Toyota and Mazda Finalizing Plans To Share Eco-Friendly Tech

Toyota and Mazda are in the final stages of a new agreement to collaborate on eco-oriented technology.

More restrictive fuel economy and emissions regulations, along with increased pressure from the competition, led to this partnership, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.

“Toyota intends to supply fuel cell and plug-in-hybrid technology … Mazda, which has lagged in electric-vehicle technology, hopes to keep up with” emission regulations in regions such as California and China “by bolstering its relationship with Toyota,” reported the Asia-based news site.

Some of that tech will come from the Mirai (pictured above), Toyota’s hydrogen powered sedan and one of the few fuel cells currently in production worldwide.

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For Mazda’s portion of the agreement, the company “will consider offering its proprietary Skyactiv green technology. Toyota hopes to use it to add more fuel-efficient gasoline and diesel vehicles alongside its own advanced lineup of hybrids and fuel cell cars,” the Nikkei Asian Review said.

This partnership won’t be the first time the two brands have worked together. In 2010, Toyota shared its technology relating to hybrid vehicles with Mazda. In more recent years, the two companies have been working together on the Scion iA its sibling, the Mazda2.

Incidentally, automakers connecting together to share new technology is the same strategy that Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat Chrysler, has been advocating in the last few months.

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Consolidation, argued Marchionne in a recent PowerPoint presentation, can be more effective than other strategies currently in place.

“One industry solution focuses on reducing the number of active platforms and increasing scale; some OEMs are trying larger scale commonization across diverse brands, while others through one-off co-operations, JVs [long-term industrial co-operations] and other equity tie-ups,” wrote Marchionne.

“But all this has produced poor results so far, as OEMs’ returns and valuations are still depressed.”

Though these approaches may save money in the short term, said Marchionne, in the end carmakers spend a significant portion of funds on product development for components that customers may not even be able to discern from the competitors.

By sharing development with another auto manufacturer, Marchionne said companies could save between $2.8 and $6.1 billion. Some of the biggest cost savings can come from consolidating engines and transmissions.

“Sharing platform, vehicle and powertrain development can yield significant savings,” Marchionne wrote. “It is ultimately a matter of leadership style and capability.”