A new Toyota will be built on the chassis of a Mazda2(Photo: Guy Spangenberg/Spangenberg Photo)
Toyota announced today that it will build a new subcompact car at
Mazda's plant in Mexico to go on sale in North America starting in 2015.
The new car will be built on the platform of the Mazda2, its smallest model in the U.S.
Toyota did not name of the new model, the Mazda2 and its sister, the
Ford Fiesta, compete against Toyota's Yaris. The Yaris hasn't sold well
compared to other Toyota small cars like the Corolla. The new model also
could be used as a replacement for a sedan in Toyota's Scion youth
division, where the xD is nearing the end of a typical life cycle.
said the new model will start production at the Mazda plant currently
under construction in Mexico in the summer of 2015. The plant plans to
make 50,000 of the little cars a year, to be sold through Toyota
It was only about a year ago that Ford dumped its
ownership stake in Mazda, ending their joint development. It's
interesting that Mazda has found a new suitor relatively quickly.
the agreement, Toyota will be able to shore up its North American
vehicle lineup while Mazda is able to get better utilization out of its
costly new plant. Mexico lends itself to small-car production because of
the popularity of the cars in Central and South America and its
famously low labor rates that allow automakers to turn slim profits on
small, cheap cars.