The Japanese auto giants may enhance their cooperation in environmental technologies to better respond to tightened regulations across the globe, sources said.
Toyota can provide technology used in the world’s first commercial fuel-cell model it marketed last year as well as from its plug-in gas-electric hybrid vehicles that are charged from an outside power source.
Mazda, on the other hand, is considering contributing its unique small-displacement engine, which boasts excellent fuel-economy performance.
The two automakers have a history of cooperation. In 2010, Toyota offered to share its expertise concerning hybrid vehicles, while in 2012, Mazda decided to manufacture compact vehicles in Mexico for Toyota to sell in North America.
Although Mazda’s sales have been growing in the United States, it is expected to be required to sell a certain number of eco-friendly vehicles from 2017 in California.
The enhancement in technical cooperation under consideration is expected to enable Mazda to cut expenses to develop next-generation green vehicles. It would also allow Toyota to lower its production costs by using common eco-car parts and develop models that meet the needs in respective countries by using a wider variety of engines.