Toyota, Mazda mull joint plant in US

Ashley Carr
August 5, 2017

Toyoda denied that Trump's views influenced his decision.

Toyota Mississippi officials said production of the Corolla at the Blue Springs plant won't be affected by Friday's announcement that Toyota will be building the vehicle at a new $1.6 billion assembly plant in which it is partnering with Mazda. "Because of its strong dependence on North American market, Mazda absolutely needs to expand its manufacturing footprint here".

A location for the new USA plant has not been announced. Toyota was on the receiving end of one of Trump's tweets for its plans to make the Corolla for the U.S. market in Mexico.

The two companies will also work together on electric vehicle and connected technologies and new safety systems among other things.

Mazda said it planned to issue new shares to Toyota worth 50 billion yen, or about $450 billion, which would give Toyota a 5.05 percent ownership stake in Mazda.

In May, Toyota had predicted operating profit would fall 20 percent to 1.6 trillion yen ($14.24 billion), while net income is forecast to decline 18 percent to 1.5 trillion yen ($13.35 billion).

The forward-looking manoeuvre would see Toyota take a five per cent slice of Mazda, while Mazda would take a much smaller piece of Toyota; the maker of the Prius is a much bigger, much more valuable entity, after all.

"It has also sparked Toyota's competitive spirit, increasing our sense of not wanting to be bested by Mazda". But in joining with Mazda, the company opted to find a location in the US, which would mark the first time Mazda has built a vehicle in the USA after Ford sold its ownership in the company in 2008.

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From Mazda's point of view, building cars in the USA for the United States will help the brand's growth.

After reassessing the auto industry market, Toyota has changed its strategy to make Corollas at a plant in Guanajuato, Mexico.

"Right now, we haven't even started our search for locations", Lentz said.

Mazda president and COE Masamichi Kogai said that he hopes, through the deal, to "help to energize the auto industry and create more vehicle fans by bringing together two competitive spirits".

President Trump touted early Friday morning a pair of large new plants scheduled to be built in the USA, calling them "a great investment in American manufacturing".

Mazda President Masamichi Kogai said he hoped that the partnership will help energize the industry.

Japanese rival Nissan Motor Co, which is allied with Renault SA of France and Mitsubishi Motors Corp, is the global leader in electric vehicles. Toyota, meanwhile, has set a goal for all of its vehicles to be zero emissions by 2050.

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