Tokyo: Japanese carmaker Toyota will provide hybrid technology used in its best-selling Prius vehicle to its rival and compatriot Mazda Motor, the companies said Monday.
Mazda plans to roll out hybrids in Japan by 2013 as it looks to catch up with other makers in the market for fuel efficient vehicles, it said in a joint press release.
The two Japanese automakers have been in talks over the supply of Toyota’s gasoline-electric powered system to Mazda since last year.
The agreement comes as major automakers rush to develop more fuel-efficient cars as emission regulations become stricter in key markets.
However the costs of doing so can be prohibitive, especially in an industry emerging from a deep slump after the global financial crisis.
Toyota, which overtook General Motors in 2008 to become world number one automaker, has seen its reputation tarnished after it recalled more than eight million vehicles worldwide mostly due to problems with sudden acceleration. In February it announced the global recall of 437,000 third-generation Prius and other hybrids to repair a flaw in their anti-lock brake system which can cause a momentary lag in brake function.
The Prius is the world’s most popular hybrid, with more than 2.3 million sold in about 70 countries.