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19 October 2017

Toyota embarks on electric vehicles production through new partnership with Mazda and Denso

Through a new partnership between Toyota, Mazda, and Denso, the three automobile companies will jointly establish a new company to develop zero-emission electric cars.

Japan-based Toyota and Mazda haven’t incorporated electric vehicles in their production yet, so they teamed up to develop stronger capabilities in this new technology, improving their response time to an increasingly changing automobile market.

The newly established company will be called EV Common Architecture Spirit Co Ltd., and will leverage each company’s strong capabilities; i.e. Mazda’s product planning and computer modeling-based expertise, Denso’s electronics technologies and Toyota’s New Global Architecture platform.

Toyota will be the principal shareholder, holding 90 percent of the company, with Mazda and Denso, Toyota's biggest supplier holding a share of 5 percent each.

The EV joint venture will cover a wide range of models, from mini and passenger vehicles to SUVs and light trucks.

Despite Toyota having wide expertise on hybrid powertrains, with the company releasing the landmark full hybrid Prius in 1997, and Mazda making increasing efforts to improve the internal combustion engine, the two companies are considered to have fallen behind most of other automakers in the race of adapting to the new market trends.

Toyota has been also dedicated to trying to bring hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in the market, and it was only last year that it set up a division to develop electric cars.

Through a statement, the three companies said: “Through this joint technological development project, by dedicating an equal amount of development resources, ensuring efficient development processes, and taking advantage of existing production facilities, Mazda and Toyota intend to focus their resources on fundamental vehicle values to enable the creation of appealing EVs that embody the unique identities of each brand and avoid the commoditization of EVs”.

The plans for the EV venture were announced back in August when Toyota bought 5 percent of Mazda.

The joint venture has announced that it is open to the participation of other car makers and parts suppliers. 

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