A technical tie-up between Toyota Motor Corp. and Mazda Motor Corp. in the field of hybrid vehicles is likely to be of greater benefit to Mazda, which lags behind in developing eco-friendly automobiles.
Mazda could eventually try to further strengthen its ties with Toyota by using Toyota auto parts and taking other measures in the aftermath of Ford Motor Co., Mazda’s largest shareholder, reducing its ratio of Mazda’s shares.
Mazda has prioritized improving the mileage of gas-powered engine vehicles, but these measures alone are not enough to secure the company’s business prospects.
It has already raised 60 billion yen for eco-vehicle research and development through increasing its capital by offering new stocks to the public.
With the tie-up, Mazda will be able to fulfill all the requirements for developing hybrid vehicles.
However, as eco-car manufacturing has seen a sharp increase in the auto industry worldwide, the market could be dominated by other automakers by 2013, when Toyota begins fully supplying Mazda with the key components of hybrid vehicles. Late starter Mazda will therefore be forced to play catch-up.
Meanwhile, Toyota predicts that it will suffer a 350 billion yen deficit for the consolidated financial settlement for the business term ending in March 2010.
Toyota may seek to quickly boost its business profits and cut the costs of manufacturing the key components for its own hybrid vehicles by producing more of the components for Mazda.
Photo by beve4