Mazda2 Will Be a Rebadged Toyota Yaris Hatchback in Europe by 2022

The Mazda2 is struggling to stay competitive in Europe. Rather than develop an all-new model on its own, Mazda has apparently decided to ask Toyota if it can borrow the Yaris Hybrid for a little bit.
2021 Toyota Yaris Hybrid 1 photo
Photo: Toyota
Badge-engineering is becoming an increasingly common tactic for cash-strapped Japanese automakers. Right now, Suzuki has its badges plastered all over the RAV4 and Corolla wagon in Europe. Why? Because Toyota makes some of the best hybrids, and this, along with the European Union's increasingly stricter CO2 emissions standards, is probably the reason behind the Mazda2 change.

But first, let's deal with the facts. According to a new report from Autocar, the new Mazda2 will be built by Toyota. This information is based on a recent financial presentation which mentions an “OEM-supplied model based on Yaris THS [Toyota Hybrid System],” which will launch within the next two years.

Mazda simply doesn't have the right resources to keep its small car alive otherwise. The 1.5-liter motor which usually powers the B-segment probably can't be made to meet the latest emissions targets in Europe. Another benefit is that the Toyota Yaris is assembled locally in northern France.

“As one of the multi-solution measures, we concluded that the THS is the optimum solution to respond to each region’s needs and requirements,” an official statement from Mazda to Autocar reads. “This collaboration is the result of discussions based on our Toyota-Mazda partnership policy to use both companies’ business resources efficiently while respecting each other’s brand and management independence.”

Ironically, the 2020 Toyota Yaris from America is essentially a rebadged version of the Mazda2 sedan. Reports currently state that this model is dead after the current model year, which makes sense now that we know Toyota is lending them the replacement. Sadly, there's no chance of ever getting a Mazda-badged GR Yaris, even though it would be epic.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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