Toyota will replace the mediocre Yaris subcompact with a new model that to be produced alongside the next Mazda 2, according to a report from Automotive News. This report says that Mazda’s new plant in Salamanca, Mexico, will produce around 50,000 vehicles per year for Toyota when the next-generation Mazda 2 begins production in 2015.
This new subcompact will still wear a Toyota design inside and out, but will use the same Skyactiv powertrain as the upcoming Mazda 2. This new, smaller Skyactiv powerplant is expected to displace either 1.4 or 1.6 liters. Sharing this powertrain will not only help Mazda financially, it should also benefit Toyota with increased fuel efficiency for this next-generation subcompact -- which may or may not continue to use the Yaris name. It’s unclear at this point how many other components of the Toyota will be shared with the Mazda.
We don’t yet know if these Mazda-built Toyota subcompacts will be sold globally, but it’s safe to assume that a large number of them will be sold in the U.S. The predicted figure of 50,000 units annually could mean that Toyota is expecting higher sales for this new model, as the Toyota Yaris only sold 21,342 units in the U.S. in 2013. Alternatively, the automaker could hope to export the new car to other countries.
The Mazda Hazumi concept that debuted this week at the 2014 Geneva auto show previews new Mazda 2. Although the concept version premiered with a new 1.5-liter Skyactiv-D diesel engine, we aren’t expecting to see this powertrain in the U.S. anytime soon, given the delays Mazda is facing getting the 2.2-liter Skyactiv-D to market in the Mazda 6 Diesel. A small four-cylinder gasoline engine is most likely.
Stay tuned for more news about this Toyota-Mazda collaboration over the coming months as we learn more about these new subcompacts.