Mazda hopes to raise 96 billion yen which translates to about $1 billion in order to fund the development of new hybrid models and additional advanced technology vehicles.  The company will raise funds by selling new shares and treasury stocks.

According to Autocar, the company will, "Issue 363 million new shares, which is the equivalent of a quarter of its existing stock. It will also sell 96.8 million shares it bought last year from its majority shareholder Ford."

Mazda has been a hold out on hybrid and electric vehicles.  The company initially showed no interest in producing either type of vehicle. As Mazda's North American president Jim O'Sullivan said, "We will not go somewhere unless its zoom-zoom".  Recently, the company changed its stance and hopes to produce hybrid models in the near future. 

Of the $1 billion raised, the company plans to spend 2/3 of it on "environment and safety related development" while using the rest to upgrade factories and fund other capital investments.

According to sources, the reference to "environment and safety related development" implies hybrid and advanced vehicle technology.  Now Mazda will have the necessary funds to bring a competitive hybrid to market.