What does an automaker do when they want to offer hybrid vehicles to buyers without having to deal with development and production costs of hybrid components? How does an automaker bring hybrids to market quickly in order to catch up with competitors? The answer is simple, enlist the help of the world's leading hybrid producer, Toyota. Mazda has done just that.
According to the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper in Japan, the two companies have reached an agreement that will allow Mazda to quickly bring hybrid vehicles to market . Toyota will supply Mazda with all of the necessary hybrid components including electric motors and control systems for Mazda hybrids expected to hit the market by 2013. In additional, Toyota battery partner Panasonic will provide batteries for the upcoming models.
It has been reported that Mazda has but 1/8 the research and development budget of some competing automakers. The lack of funding has prevented the company from producing its own hybrid vehicle. In the past, Mazda relied on borrowed technology from Ford for its Tribute Hybrid SUV, but the two companies collaborative efforts have evaporated in recent years.
By choosing Toyota, Mazda will align itself with the most successful hybrid producer in the world. Toyota's expertise in the field will provide Mazda with products that have been extensively tested in real world situations, preventing the company from excessive research and development spending.
Mazda intends to bring at least one hybrid to the market by 2013. The company expects to sell tens of thousands of hybrids annually.