MAZDA Motor Corporation announced yesterday that they signed a memorandum of understanding with Toyota Motor Corporation. The agreement is aimed at building a mutually beneficial long-term partnership which will leverage the resources of both companies to complement and enhance each other’s products and technologies.

Herewith a basic outline of the agreement and explanation of expectations as discussions continue on potential collaborative projects moving forward.

The spirit of the agreement:

The agreement is founded on shared objectives and a common stance.

The intention is to form a strong, medium- to long-term cooperative relationship based on a spirit of “co-creation”, with the aim to enhance the technological strengths of both Toyota and Mazda, ensuring the sustainable growth of the automobile industry and the reservation of Japanese manufacturing.

Putting this into practice, both companies will respect the uniqueness of each brand and management styles, carefully observing the global competitive situation in order to make efficient use of the management resources of both companies.

Equally, both will work with a mutual respect for each other’s people, technologies and culture, pooling together knowledge and assets with an aim to form a long-term partnership.The memorandum of understanding that was signed ensures that Toyota and Mazda can cooperate in regard to a number of issues facing the automotive industry, including the environment, safety and the globalization of our business.

The basic principles behind the agreement:

Offering a combination of driving pleasure and outstanding environmental and safety performance is why Mazda made the promise to bring joy to our customers through vehicles and part of our corporate philosophy. In order to deliver on that promise, Mazda has worked hard to create vehicles that feature a unified set of technologies and a consistent design theme known as SKYACTIV and KODO, respectively and these will continue to be refined moving forward.

Similarly, Toyota is getting serious about cars in order to continue making vehicles that people will call their “beloved” car, based on their slogan “make ever-better cars.”Both companies hold similar aspirations in terms of making cars and agree that the most important need is to enhance the basic appeal of the automobile, so that cars will remain an essential part of people's lives into the future.

There’s a further understanding that both companies share similar views about manufacturing, through the licensing of hybrid electric technology and the production of Toyota vehicles at our plant in Mexico; convincing potential to build an even more fruitful relationship; one that makes the most of each brand's strengths.

Mazda and Toyota's evaluation of each other:

Toyota's President and CEO, Akio Toyoda, praised Mazda strongly, saying that he had a great deal of empathy for Mazda's “Be a Driver” spirit, and Mazda’s declaration that we will never make a car that is boring to drive. He called Mazda a great car company and acknowledged our continuing quest to develop the cars and technologies that will lead the next generation.

“Toyota has a strong will to fulfil its responsibilities towards the preservation of the earth's environment and the future of manufacturing. They have an earnest attitude and are constantly improving themselves. I also think they deserve a lot of respect for the way that they cherish the local communities in which they are involved and have done so since the establishment of the company”, said Mazda’s President and CEO, Masamichi Kogai.

Specific areas of collaboration:

A joint committee will be set up, featuring members from both companies, with the aim of forming agreements regarding specific business collaborations that utilize each company's respective strengths.

Terms of the scope of investigations:

The intention is to explore a wide range of possibilities not limited to the areas of technology and regions, including the fields of environmental technologies and advanced safety technologies.

This agreement means that both companies will be concentrating more fully and more comprehensively on the global alliances in the areas of product and region, which have thus far been pursued as one of Mazda’s structural reform pillars.

It is important to note that the alliances that Mazda have built so far with other companies will remain intact. For example, our strategic relationship with Ford, buying cars from Suzuki and trucks from Isuzu, and partnerships with Fiat Chrysler and Nissan will continue exactly as they have in the past.

Conclusion Moving forward effectively with this partnership will optimistically result in more satisfied customers, leading to the expansion and growth of both companies, through improved business efficiencies, technological innovations and enhanced product appeal. For Mazda this is a good opportunity to learn from Toyota, and it may even help to further enhance Mazda's brand power in South Africa as well as globally.