Mazda Motor Corporation and Toyota Motor Corporation have announced a collaborative agreement that will see Mazda manufacture a new Toyota-branded subcompact model at a Mazda plant currently under construction in Salamanca, Mexico. The car, which shares basic architecture with the next-generation Mazda2, will allow TMC to strengthen its North American lineup and Mazda to increase its production efficiency while helping the overall profitability situation for both automakers. Toyota will underwrite "an appropriate portion" of the program's ancillary development, equipment and plant expansion costs in an effort similar to the deal it struck with Fuji Heavy Industry that resulted in the new Subaru BR-Z and its Toyota GT86/Scion FR-S alter ego.
Production of Toyota's new B-class offering -- which is being designed primarily for customers in the North American market -- is set to start in the summer of 2015. Annual output of this as-yet-unnamed Toyota is projected at 50,000 units, about a third of the Mazda plant's total capacity. Speculation now centers on the whether the car will replace or complement the Yaris in Toyota's lineup when it does go on sale here in the U.S. Expect to hear more details in the coming months.