Mazda Koeru Frankfurt 23

Mazda’s continued partnership with Toyota will enable it to benefit not just from a technological standpoint, but also allow it to grow to become a better carmaker. Speaking to Drive, Mazda Motor Corporation president and CEO Masamichi Kogai said, he also expects (Mazda) to learn more from Toyota to improve the quality of his products and people.

“The technological capability will be improved and there is a lot of other things we can learn from Toyota because they produce and sell models all around the world. They have a far higher technical criteria they set for themselves. So we need to meet that criteria as well, and that is quite a good improvement opportunity for us as well. That is one of the essential objectives we signed the agreement with Toyota,” he said.

Five years ago, Mazda licensed Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive, eventually leading to the introduction of the Mazda 3 Hybrid, which features the hybrid elements of the Prius. In return, Mazda shared its SkyActiv petrol and diesel engines.

For something more recent, Toyota’s announcement that it would rebadge a Mazda 2 for the North American market was followed through, when its sub-brand, Scion, revealed the iA at the 2015 New York International Auto Show.

Currently, both Japanese carmakers are looking to expand their technical partnership, which includes the possibility of new models being introduced, plus improvements in other areas like battery control, engine control, and infotainment technology.

However, Kogai says that the research and development collaboration between both carmakers is expected to be a long-term one, and mutually beneficial to both. In the future, the partnership is suggested to spawn many new models, including an all-new BT-50 with Hilux origins, a Prius-based SUV, and even a rotary hybrid powertrain as well.