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Newly “Engaged” Toyota and Mazda are a David and Goliath Team

This week Toyota and Mazda entered into a business relationship that executives described as an engagement rather than a marriage. Though definitely not a rescue by a bigger rival, it is a key move in Mazda’s tenacious drive to remain relevant among the giants.

Because of its relatively small size and the volatility of global production, Mazda operates on super tight margins, and yet finished off its last fiscal year with a 12.7 percent sales increase and a 17 percent jump in net income.

But the most significant reason for Toyota seeking this deal is Mazda’s standout record for design, product development and flat out fun and impressive on-road performance.

In recent years Mazda has also won industry-wide acclaim for its SKYACTIV engine efficiency and fuel savings system. Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda has been quoted saying “Mazda is ahead in many areas” … and specifically way ahead in high-compression engines, transmissions and weight saving chassis designs.

For consumers, the latest $20,000 Mazda3 – sharp looking, comfortable and family friendly inside, and smart on the road — is still one of the best automotive values on the market!