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Toyota Motor Corporation and Mazda Motor Corporation are joining forces in the area of connected vehicles and electric powertrains, according to a report by Automotive News. The two automakers are conducting broad discussions, according to Mazda executive vice president, Akira Marumoto, without elaborating on the subject matters of the talks which have taken place since last year.

Last year, the two companies signed a deal, in which Toyota will provide its advanced fuel-cell and hybrid tech to Mazda, while Mazda will share its economical, high compression ratio SkyActiv petrol and diesel engine technologies in return.

The ongoing technological partnership between Mazda and Toyota continues a trend of Japan’s automakers joining forces either by acquisition or alliance. Most recent is Nissan’s purchase of a majority stake in Mitsubishi earlier this year, while Toyota purchased the remaining share of Daihatsu Motor Company, and is also exploring a research and development partnership with Suzuki.

Toyota Motor Corporation president, Akio Toyoda and Suzuki chairman, Osamu Suzuki said talks between the two parties began due to the daunting financial demands on keeping up with advances in electrification and autonomous driving. Toyota also has a stake in Isuzu, is also the largest shareholder in Fuji Heavy Industries, and is the majority owner of Hino Motors.