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Toyota and Mazda bolster ties amid seismic shifts in auto industry

New technologies force two established players to rethink strategies

TOKYO/CHONGQING/GUANGZHOU A sense of urgency underpinned the words of Toyota President Akio Toyoda and Mazda counterpart Masamichi Kogai at a joint news conference on Aug. 4 about their newly strengthened alliance. With the likes of Google, Apple and making inroads into the automobile industry, traditional automakers are in a "fight unlike any before," said Toyoda.

Toyota Motor and Mazda Motor's business and capital tie-up comes as technological innovation and competition drive the sector's biggest shift since Ford Motor started churning out the Model T more than a century ago. Under the terms of the deal, Toyota will take a 5.05% stake in Mazda worth 50 billion yen ($450 million). Mazda will buy Toyota shares of equal value, which will give it a 0.25% stake in Japan's biggest automaker.

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