Toyota, Mazda plan electric partnership

Georgetown Kentucky Toyota Plant

In January, Trump singled out Toyota, threatening the company with a steep border tax if it did not invest in US production.

But Trump welcomed the announcement of the new USA factory on Twitter. President Donald Trump tweeted about the news early Friday.

When it comes to technology collaboration, Mazda and Toyota say they will jointly develop electric cars.

Lentz said that the proposed plant would build about 300,000 cars - 150,000 crossover sport utility vehicles for Mazda and 150,000 Toyota Corollas.

Toyota had meant to move Corolla production to a new plant in Mexico from the current site in Canada.

Toyota purchased a 5 percent stake in Mazda as it announced the plan and said it hoped the first vehicles would roll off the production lines in 2021.

Toyota, which is strong in hybrid vehicles but has been behind in entering the electric vehicle market, apparently judged it necessary to strengthen the development of electric cars in cooperation with Mazda. "The new presidential administration has made it clear investments in the USA are a top priority, and this plant may be another nod to that mindset", said Anand. The decision to build the plant in the United States has been hailed as a boost for American manufacturing.

All Corollas now sold in the USA are made in Ontario, Canada or Mississippi.

In the US market, Toyota has been struggling to sell sedan-type cars as the sales of large vehicles are increasing because of low gasoline prices.

In that respect the deal resembles the global alliance between Japanese automakers Nissan and Mitsubishi and French automaker Renault.

A capital tie-up with Mazda would be the latest addition to Toyota's sprawling empire, which includes Japanese truck maker Hino Motors and minicar maker Daihatsu Motor Co.

Mazda caters to a specific audience largely in North America with its design-conscious sedans and SUVs, and has been focusing on developing more fuel-efficient gasoline engines. Chinese rivals are also becoming a threat to Toyota.

Toyota said it is assuming an average US dollar rate of 110 yen and euro rate of 124 yen for the year, compared to earlier estimates of 105 yen and 115 yen, respectively.

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