A person familiar with Mazda’s plans has revealed to the Financial Times that Mazda is in talks with Toyota over a deal to source key petrol-electric hybrid engine components. Mazda’s previous hybrid model, the Tribute Hybrid SUV, was based on the same platform as Ford’s Escape Hybrid and shared much in common with it.
While Ford is developing new hybrid and electric technology, even going so far as to secure a $5.9 billion loan from the U.S. government to help speed up development, Mazda will reportedly go with Toyota. However, Ford sold two-thirds of its 33.4% stake in Mazda last November to raise cash but the two automakers said they would remain partners in product development and production.
Mazda originally planned to develop its own technology but a sudden surge in the popularity of hybrids has caused the automaker to speed up its plans. Some of the components Mazda is looking to source include batteries, electric motors and control units. Utilizing Toyota’s technology would allow Mazda to launch its own hybrid vehicle by 2013, the source revealed.