The partnership between Toyota and Mazda for compact models is set to include hatchbacks, according to Car & Driver. Where previously the Yaris hatchback was identical to the European-market model and was built in France – it has since been discontinued for the 2019 model year, according to Toyota spokesperson Nancy Hubbell – the next Toyota compact hatch could follow the sedan’s path in being based on the Mazda 2.

Hubbell also told Automobile, “We will not be offering a MY2019 Yaris liftback for sale in the U.S. but will continue to offer the MY2019 Yaris sedan. We’re working on something new for MY2020.” She added that more will be revealed at the New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) in April.

Currently, the Mazda-built Yaris sedan is produced in Mexico, and the same is expected to take place for Toyota’s forthcoming hatchback. Given the similarities the Mazda 2 has between sedan and hatchback bodystyles, the same can be expected for the Yaris hatchback, as the sedan is essentially a mildly re-bodied Mazda 2.

While the two Japanese automakers have established a joint venture company, Mazda Toyota Manufacturing, USA (MTMUS), the facility is earmarked for production of Mazda crossovers and the Toyota Corolla. Should there be provision for Yaris assembly, production at the Huntsville, Alabama plant is slated to commence in 2021, which falls beyond the hatchback’s 2020 launch target.

Under the hood, the Yaris sedan packs a 1.5 litre direct injection SkyActiv-G petrol engine with 106 hp and 139 Nm from Mazda; a little down on figures compared to the 114 hp/148 Nm unit we get as standard here in Malaysia. Both a six-speed manual and six-speed automatic are available Stateside for the Yaris sedan.

This move, if confirmed, will streamline Toyota’s compact line-up with the consolidation into the Yaris pairing. The outgoing Yaris hatchback is produced in France, and as the four-speed automatic transmission suggests, has soldiered on considerably without significant updates. The Mazda-based Yaris has also outsold Toyota’s own build in the States, to the tune of 25,269 sedans to 1,940 hatchbacks, Car & Driver noted.

GALLERY: Toyota Yaris sedan