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Toyota and Mazda Enter Business and Capital Alliance

Toyota Motor Corp. and Mazda Motor Corp. signed an agreement last week to enter a business and capital alliance, with the aim of further strengthening their lasting partnership.

Specifically, the companies agreed to establish a joint venture that produces vehicles in the U.S., jointly develop technologies for electric vehicles and connected-car technology, collaborate on advanced safety technologies, and expand complementary products.

Both brands also agreed to a capital alliance arrangement that preserves independence and equality for both companies. In the capital tie-up, the two companies have agreed that Toyota will subscribe for and acquire shares to be newly issued by Mazda through a third-party allotment, and at the same time Mazda will subscribe for and acquire third-party allocation shares of treasury stock disposed of by Toyota in the equivalent amount in value to the Mazda shares. The value of the shares mutually acquired by both companies will be equivalent.

“The greatest fruit of our partnership with Mazda is that we have found a new partner who truly loves cars,” said Toyota President Akio Toyoda. “It has also sparked Toyota’s competitive spirit, increasing our sense of not wanting to be bested by Mazda. This is a partnership in which those who are passionate about cars will work together to make ever-better cars. It is also the realization of our desire to never let cars become commodities.”

Representing Mazda, President and CEO Masamichi Kogai said: “Nothing would please me more than if, through this alliance, we can help to energize the auto industry and create more car fans by bringing together two competitive spirits to spur each other on, leading to innovations and fostering talent and leaders.”

In May 2015, Toyota and Mazda entered an agreement to build a continuous partnership that would mutually benefit the companies in such forms as leveraging the resources of both companies and complementing each other’s products and technologies toward the goal of making more-appealing cars. Since then, both companies have discussed various areas to explore, based on the principle of building an equal and favorable relationship in the long term.

Over the medium- to long-term, the two companies will build a favorable relationship that respects the autonomy and equality of each party and works toward success with the agreed joint projects, according to a news release announcing the deal.

Joint Production

As part of the new alliance, Toyota and Mazda have agreed to explore establishing a joint venture plant in the U.S. with equal funding contributions. The plant would have an estimated annual production capacity of approximately 300,000 units. Pending approvals and authorization by relevant government agencies, the companies will begin to examine detailed plans with the goal to starting operations of the new plant in 2021.

The plant will require a total investment of approximately $1.6 billion, and will create up to 4,000 jobs.

At the new plant, Mazda expects to produce cross-over models that Mazda will newly introduce to the North American market, and Toyota plans to produce the Corolla for the North American market. By producing vehicles in the U.S., Mazda aims to build a production structure to further grow in North America. These activities will allow the company to more quickly respond to its customers’ needs depending on the region and model.

By further increasing its production capacity in the U.S., Toyota is to further pursue management that is closer to the region, as a measure to improve its response to the growing North American market. At Toyota’s new plant in Guanajuato, Mexico, which is currently under construction, Toyota plans to produce the Tacoma, instead of the Corolla. There will be no substantial impact on Toyota’s investment and employment plan there.

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