Mazda Wants To Rebadge A Toyota

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A new model is in the works.

Mazda prides itself on being independent, with no larger parent company to answer to. But when it makes good business sense, the Japanese carmaker will find a partner on particular projects. One example is the Fiat 124 Spider, a rebadged Mazda MX-5 Miata, though the two roadsters have unique engines. Toyota is another larger automaker Mazda has a relationship with. Currently under construction in Huntsville, Alabama is a new joint venture factory that will be building 300,000 vehicles a year once it's ready. But Mazda is also interested in a certain overseas-only Toyota.

According to Autocar, Mazda intends to offer a rebadged version of the Toyota Yaris Hybrid supermini in Europe within two years.

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This vehicle could outright replace the Mazda2, a model that hasn't been sold in the US since 2014. A rebadged version of its successor was sold as the now-discontinued Yaris. During a recent presentation, Mazda detailed plans to continue to utilize partnerships with other automakers as a more financially safe way to expand its lineup in certain markets. A new "OEM-supplied model based on the Yaris THS [Toyota Hybrid System]" in Europe is due to go on sale in the next two years.

That so far unnamed vehicle will be built alongside the latest Yaris in northern France. There's literally zero chance it will be sold in the US because Mazda intends to continue pushing its range further upmarket.

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It's also unlikely Mazda would receive its own version of the hot GR Yaris for two reasons: Toyota doesn't want to share its performance and technical know-how, and Mazda specifically wants a hybrid small hatchback to help it meet strict EU C02 emissions targets, so such a niche model wouldn't make sense. There is a possibility this new(ish) Mazda will be sold alongside the current Mazda2, which doesn't offer a hybrid powertrain, though for a very limited time.

For this side of the pond, Mazda is reportedly plotting a new and radically different Mazda6 sedan for 2022 that will ride on a new longitudinal-engine platform with rear-wheel-drive and an inline-six engine.

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Source Credits: Autocar

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