Could the next Toyota Yaris be a Mazda2 under the skin?
Mazda has announced that its factory in Mexico will begin producing a new Mazda2-based Toyota small car from 2015.
Mazda's press release states that the car, which will be sold "mainly in North America", will be produced at a rate of 50,000 units per year, commencing summer 2015.
The plant in Salamanca, Mexico, currently produces the Mazda2 subcompact and Mazda3 compact cars.
Both companies are set to benefit from the deal. Toyota Motor Corporation is aiming to strengthen its North American vehicle lineup, while relative minnow Mazda will gain from increased economies of scale and production efficiency. The move will also provide Toyota with a small car immune to fluctuations between the Yen and the U.S. Dollar.
The new Toyota will almost certainly be based on the next generation of Mazda2, a car produced in its current form from 2007.The Mazda2-based car will likely replace the current Yaris, despite 2015 resulting in a relatively short five-year life cycle. It is currently unclear what this will mean for the Toyota Prius C, itself based on the current Yaris platform.
Mazda and Toyota announced back in 2010 that future Mazda hybrid cars would use Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive technology, though Mazda currently has no solid plans for a production hybrid.