• Mar 29, 2010
Starting in 2013, Mazda will become the second manufacturer (after Nissan) to directly use Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive technology. Mazda has signed a licensing agreement with the hybrid behemoth that will see the smaller company get a supply of hybrid hardware – presumably including transmissions, power electronics (including software) and battery packs.

The drive components will be paired up with the new-generation, direct-injected Sky engines that Mazda displayed at the Tokyo Motor Show last fall. Mazda will build a new hybrid vehicle starting in 2013 using this equipment, the first it has produced on its own. The only previous Mazda hybrid was the Tribute, a re-badged Ford Escape.

Nissan has now produced its own in-house hybrid system and when the Altima is redesigned in the next few years it seems unlikely it will retain its current Toyota hybrid system. Click past the break to view the press release.

[Source: Toyota | Mazda]
Show full PR text
Toyota Motor Corporation Mazda Motor Corporation

TMC and Mazda Agree to Hybrid System Technology License

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) and Mazda Motor Corporation (Mazda) have reached an agreement on the supply under license of hybrid technology used in the Toyota Prius.

Leveraging this agreement, Mazda plans to combine the hybrid system with its next-generation SKY* engine that is currently under development, and develop and manufacture a hybrid vehicle in Japan. Mazda is aiming to commence sales of a hybrid vehicle starting in Japan by 2013.

Positioning response to environmental issues as a management priority, TMC began sales of the Prius, the world's first mass-production hybrid vehicle, in 1997. Since then, over 2.3 million TMC-produced hybrid vehicles have been delivered to customers in over 70 countries and regions.

TMC recognizes the importance of benefiting the environment by encouraging the popularization of its eco-friendly technologies, which are represented by its hybrid systems. Accordingly, TMC has announced that it will consider requests from other companies to supply hybrid technology.

Based on its long-term vision for technology development, Sustainable Zoom-Zoom, Mazda aims to increase the average fuel economy of Mazda vehicles sold globally 30 percent by 2015, compared to its 2008 level. In order to offer all of its customers driving pleasure as well as outstanding eco-friendly and safety performance, Mazda is implementing a Building Block Strategy. Under this strategy, Mazda will enhance the core aspects of its vehicles - including engines, transmissions and weight reduction - and then progressively add electric devices such as idling stop, regenerative braking and hybrid systems.

Through this partnership, each company intends to offer technologies and products with outstanding environmental benefits to as many people as possible.

*Concept name for engines and transmissions that are intended for launch from 2011 onward.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 21 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Im just as puzzled as everyone else as to why Mazda would not be using Fords...
      • 4 Years Ago
      Maybe Ford isn't willing to share
      • 4 Years Ago
      Repeating my comments from Autoblog Green:

      "So this is officially the next nail in the coffin of the relationship between Ford and Mazda. Over the next few years the Mazda 6/Fusion, Mazda 3/Focus and Mazda 2/Fiesta will lose their kinship, and Mazda will drop the Escape based- Tribute. That will leave only the Auto Alliance assembly ventures in Flat Rock (Mustang and Mazda 6) and Thailand (Ranger and Mazda BT trucks), and I give those at least 5 more years.

      "Supposedly Mazda will become affiliated with Toyota, just like Subaru."

      I'll give Toyota about 12 months to buy into Mazda, and Ford to sell its remaining interests, if it hasn't done so already.



      • 4 Years Ago
      I said years ago that this would happen.

      Toyota has such a lead in this technology and has amassed such a patent portfolio that they could then leverage that know-how and sell it to other car makers.

      The fact that Mazda, which has such close ties to Ford, is going with a competitor's technology is very telling in the kind of lead that Toyota has in this field.

      Bravo to Toyota to having long-term vision and sticking with it even at a time when gas was running around $1.XX a gallon (at least here in the US) and everyone was saying that hybrids would never catch on. Over a dozen years later, almost 2 Million hybrid vehicles sold and through 3-generations of development they could turn this technology into a cash-cow.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Lets hope they source the "floormats", pedals and brakes from a different source
      • 4 Years Ago
      Curious that Mazda would use the Toyota system instead of licensing it from Ford. Especially because the Fusion system performs better than the Camry system in efficiency.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I agree. But my thinking is that maybe Fords design might be a little more expensive or it can't fit in the cars that Mazda would want to apply it to.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Ford licenses Toyota's Hybrid patents, they exchanged it a while back in exchange for Toyota using Ford's diesel IP.

        Toyota got into the hybrid game early on so they went on got many of the patents. Ford's hybrid system is still their own, though they share some suppliers with Toyota, but its an intellectual property issue.

        Mazda will likely develop their own hybrid technology for the most part, but license Toyota's IP for things they can't get around. But much like Ford, they probably will share several key suppliers for certain key parts.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Not sure why autoblog didn't mention this but the reason why they chose Toyotas hybrid system is because Mazda will be offering the hybrid cars in Japan only for a certain amount of years and need to keep all the manufacturing local to cut down costs and keep it market competitive. Simple financial decision, that is the only reason why they went with Toyota rather than Ford.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Probably because it'd be silly to use Ford's system when they'd end up having to pay Toyota anyways for licensing. Ford cross-licensed a bunch of hybrid tech with Toyota for their system but that doesn't mean that Ford can sub-license it to Mazda now that Mazda is a separate company. So it makes no sense to pay for a Ford system that would require them to get licensing from Toyota anyway.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Man some people are clueless on here, (referencing comments below). Let's bullet point this for internet Einsteins:

        - Ford still has the largest stake in Mazda, more than anyone else.

        - Ford sold SOME of its stock in Mazda for cash flow reasons and mentioned plans of buying it back in the future if finances allow

        - They sold approximately 30% of their 33% share in the company, that doesn't mean they're left with 3%, try approximately 23%, still nearly owning a quarter of the company.

        - The Ford hybrid powertrain and the Toyota hybrid powertrain are mutually exclusive, they do not share parts. The common fallacy spread throughout the internet is that Ford licensed Toyota tech. The actual fact is that both Ford and Toyota developed powertrains seperately but both had done so in a similar manner to the other, Ford had come up with some of the same ideas Toyota did and Toyota came up with some of the ideas Ford did, so they cross licenced each others similarities.. Get that through your heads once and for all.. my goodness
      • 4 Years Ago
      Funny how Toyota denied it just a few days ago:
      http://blogs.edmunds.com/greencaradvisor/2010/03/toyota-denies-that-it-has-agreed-to-supply-mazda-with-prius-parts-and-technology.html

      I suspect they simply weren't ready to announce it until today.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ford's system is also licensed from Toyota because they (Toyota) have several patents critical to a competitive parallel hybrid system. Hence why Mazda would need to pay licensing fees to Toyota, rather than to Ford. It's about law, not technology.

      They may pay similar license fees to Ford (and vice-versa) for other reasons.

      This is akin to how just about every GSM handset maker pays license fees to Nokia, even if they have closer relationships and/or their in-house technology.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Toyota is back in the news with recall reports, improved safety guidelines, and the new hybrid leasing arrangement with Mazda. Let’s hope they improve their battered image and get back to the business of improving and selling green cars.

      Researching how to make your company, product, or next project more Green? Go to www.greencollareconomy.com for sustainability white papers and the largest b2b green directory on the web.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why this system and not Ford's? Probably cost and Toyota's willingness to license its system. Ford has given no indication that that wish to do the same. They may be happy to keep their technology proprietory for now.

      This works well for Toyota and for Mazda. Mazda gets proven technology. Toyota produces moreunits and drives greater efficiencies and lower costs.

      Let's hope Mazda is able to bring a little zoom zoom to its hybrids. That would be nice.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Main reason Mazda went to Toyota was their suppliers are in Japan, and Fords is basically a Toyota system, cheaper to source from Toyota.

      This is ONLY a JDM for Mazda, NO talk of any Hybrid EXPORT from Mazda.

      As for "last Nail in the Coffin"...FORD chose to sell it's PROFITABLE Stake in Mazda because FORD wanted Cash at the time...simple.
      • 4 Years Ago
      hmmm...is Ford about to unload Mazda from its portfolio???
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