Toyota and Mazda have been talking about working together on electrified vehicles and connected cars
Today a Mazda executive told Automotive News and other reporters at a briefing in Tokyo the carmakers are mulling at least 10 potential areas for cooperation.
Akira Marumoto, Mazda’s executive vice president, told reporters that the two companies have been in broad discussions since late last year. He declined to provide more detail on the talks that have explored expanding ties beyond their sharing of hybrid systems and compact car production in Mexico.
The Toyota and Mazda talks are one of many taking place in Japan as automakers prepare for technology changes and emissions and fuel economy rules increasing. Mitsubishi’s false fuel economy reporting led to Nissan buying a stake recently.
Toyota bought out the rest of minicar maker Daihatsu earlier this year, and may establish a research and development project with Suzuki. President Akio Toyoda and Suzuki Chairman Osamu Suzuki began talks last month to deal with the keeping pace with advances in electrification and autonomous driving.
Toyota also is the majority owner of medium-duty truckmaker Hino, the largest shareholder in Subaru maker Fuji Heavy Industries, and has a stake in Isuzu.
Mazda for years has been exploring alternative power technologies, but so far has counted on its fuel-efficient Skyactiv engines to hit mpg targets. Today, Mazda reported in a press release that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) noted in its most recent Light Duty Fuel Economy Trends report that Mazda is the most fuel-efficient auto manufacturer in the U.S. With the highest fleet-wide adjusted fuel economy performance of 29.6 miles per gallon (MPG), Mazda led the chart for model year (MY) 2015. Mazda said that its the fourth consecutive year that the company has achieved the highest fuel-efficiency of any mainstream automotive manufacturer in the industry, without offering a hybrid or battery electric vehicles.
Mazda’s top selling car in the U.S., the Mazda 3 midsize sedan (as seen in the photo), has a 33 combined mpg rating from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Mazda MX-5 Miata was named as one of this year’s top 10 most fuel efficient vehicles by Consumer Reports, with 34 combined mpg – 25 city and 42 highway. The small hatchback Mazda 2 received the highest EPA combined fuel economy rating in the Mazda 2016 lineup with 36 mpg for the automatic transmission version.