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Toyota Wants To Build More Sports Cars, Says It Needs Partners To Do It

by | June 17, 2024

Toyota wants to give enthusiasts more sports cars, but the company says it needs partners to help make this a reality.

2020 Toyota Supra - red high angle rear 3-4

Toyota admits it needs to increase collaboration with other automakers to help it produce more performance cars.

Toyota has been on a quest to rediscover its fun side in recent years. While the Scion brand flopped during its time in production, a newer campaign to put performance vehicles under the Toyota badge has been more successful with models like the resurrected GR Supra and the smaller GR86 providing the brand with a pair of compelling performance vehicles.

However, a notable theme here is that both vehicles were made with the help of partnerships with BMW and Subaru providing the extra resources needed for the Supra and GR86 respectively. Look for that state of affairs to continue with Toyota saying that it will need to keep working with more partners to continue providing more performance vehicles.

Cost is a major factor

2024 Mazda Miata - 2-shot

One potential partner is Mazda. A renewed U.S. collaboration with the firm would help build on prior international ties.

Toyota’s admission came during a media event in Australia with Gazoo Racing President Tomoya Takahashi saying that while more performance cars are on the radar, the math and the calculations that come with it don’t add up to produce long-term success.  “the sports car market is shrinking in the future. We cannot maintain sports cars as one brand, Toyota. Collaboration between brands will increase in the future.”

The company stopped short of confirming what other automakers it’s interested in partnering up with. However, one automaker that might be interested in re-establishing stronger ties with Toyota is Mazda. Mazda has experience in making performance vehicles and while the two companies currently work together in international markets for hybrid vehicles, it has been several years since that partnership produced a vehicle here in the U.S. with the Mazda2 providing the source material for the axed iA sedan.

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Gazoo is interested in other vehicle segments

Gazoo Racing has also confirmed in the past it’s looking to expand into other segments with pickups and SUVs potentially being considered.

In addition to increasing the level of collaboration the company has with other projects, Toyota is also interested in letting Gazoo explore other vehicle segments. This would include a performance SUV which would allow the sub-brand to get more sales in a segment that’s already very popular with consumers versus the more niche sales that it gets with its current car-only vehicle roster.

Takahashi also elaborated further saying that the increased collaboration is not solely about brand survival but is focused on protecting car enthusiasts which is why collaborating with another automaker is sometimes needed to help make these vehicles a production reality. These increased levels of collaboration will be important as the company prepares to adapt to changing market conditions with slumping sales in performance cars forcing the Japanese auto giant to potentially help Gazoo expand to other vehicle segments to bring in more profits.


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