Images: Toyota and Mazda
Well, it looks like the partnership between Ford and Mazda is further eroding. In 2008, Ford sold a 20% stake in Mazda (keeping 13.4%) and lost control of the company. Now Mazda is signing a deal with Toyota instead of Ford to license some hybrid hardware and software to use in a hybrid vehicle to be sold in 2013. "The car is to be sold only in Japan at first, although Mazda said it hoped eventually to introduce it overseas."
Sorry RX-8 Fans, No Rotary Hybrid
Mazda says that it plans to combine the hybrid system with the SKY direct-injection gasoline engine that it is currently developing, and there are no plans to make a hybrid based on a rotary engine (it probably wouldn't be a very good match anyway).
This should help Mazda improve its fleet fuel economy and acquire some expertise so that it can better transition to plug-in vehicles down the road (if Ford can make an electric Focus, Mazda should be able to make an electric Mazda 3).
This is good news for Toyota. On top of the money that it is getting for the licensing, it will also benefit indirectly from any economies of scale that come out of its part suppliers producing more units to feed Mazda's demand. This could mean cheaper Toyota hybrids, and hopefully cheaper plug-in hybrids and electric cars soon.
Via Mazda, Financial Times
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