The Japanese car giants have been engaging in partnerships lately. In the US, Toyota and Mazda have been doing the same thing for a while by rebranding existing models. According to reports, Toyota will not offer a brand-new Yaris hatchback model in the US this year, but rather offer a Mazda 2 rebadged as the new Yaris starting next year, in 2020.
The 2020 Toyota Yaris will retain the 1.5-liter engine block that will work in tandem with either a 6-speed A/T or M/T option. Early pictures show that the upcoming hatchback will still sport a Yaris' front-bumper design, but the rest of the vehicle will have the core design of the Mazda 2.
In the US, Mazda and Toyota started teaming up in 2016 for the 2016 Mazda 2 model, which is a rebadged version of the Scion iA. Ultimately, the Scion brand was scrapped, and the partners then came to the decision that the Yaris model will be a rebadged Mazda 2. Part of the plan includes that all Yaris models sold in the United States market will be rebadged Mazda models.
This is good news for the Yaris hatchback model since it has gone for several years without any major refresh of its features, evidence of which is its 4-speed A/T. Another major factor are the numbers; sales figures show that the Mazda-branded Yaris models sold better (25,269 units sold) compared to its Toyota counterpart (1,940 units sold.) in the US.
Observers say that this move might be a strategy by Toyota to move away from the subcompact market and focus its energies on its SUV and crossover vehicle offerings.
In their official statement, a Toyota spokesperson confirmed these new developments and said that they will make more announcements about the upcoming 2020 Yaris at the upcoming New York International Auto Show, which will be held in April.
Luckily, it seems that we don't have to worry about the same changes happening in the Philippines, but if you like the idea of a rebadged Mazda 2 as the Toyota Yaris, sadly, you might have to DIY for now unless Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) and Berjaya Auto Philippines (Exclusive distributor of Mazda vehicles in the Philippines) decide to do the same.