A partnership between Toyota and Mazda to build a sub-compact (B-segment) vehicle for the North American market had been confirmed in 2012, and the latest reports now suggest that the next-generation Yaris will be built in Mazda’s new plant in Salamanca, Mexico, based on the upcoming second-generation Mazda2.
Speaking to Automotive News, Keishi Egawa, director of the new Mazda facility, confirmed that the upcoming Toyota model will use Mazda’s high-compression, direct-injection SkyActiv petrol engine. Toyota will plan out its own sheet metal (exterior) and “some of the interior design work,” but it will use “our engine,” said Egawa.
This is a neat role reversal for the two Japanese carmakers. Just last year, Toyota licensed the Prius’ Hybrid Synergy Drive system – battery, control system, electric motor and eCVT – for use in the Japan-only Mazda3 Hybrid (which keeps Hiroshima’s own 2.0 litre SkyActiv-G mill).
As part of the 2012 agreement, the Mexican factory will allocate about 50,000 of its full annual capacity of 230,000 units for the Toyota model. Output for the Toyota spin-off is expected to begin in the second half of next year, a year after the new Mazda2 enters production there. Closer to home, we’re expecting the Hazumi-based Mazda2 to arrive in Malaysia by the end of 2014 too.