Toyota Motor President Akio Toyoda and Mazda Motor President Masamichi Kogai bow at a joint news conference in Tokyo, Japan August 4, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
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Toyota Motor Corp. agreed to buy a stake in Mazda Motor Corp. and jointly build a $1.6 billion plant in the U.S. Asia's largest automaker will also invest more in areas like self-driving cars to stay relevant in an industry upended by technological changes.Within minutes of the first-quarter earnings conference ending, Toyota confirmed it will acquire about a 5 percent stake in Mazda and together they will spend $1.6 billion to build a U.S. auto plant.President Donald Trump cheered Toyota and Mazda's planned factory, the first new U.S. vehicle assembly plant announced since he took office.From a company that imported all its vehicles from Japan, Toyota has transformed into a company building 70 percent in North America, its North America Chief Executive Officer Jim Lentz said.Purchasing stakes in other companies is not an everyday phenomenon at Toyota, which in recent years acquired a minority equity stake in Isuzu Motors Ltd. Almost five decades back, Toyota also brought Hino Motors Ltd. and Daihatsu Motor Co. into its fold as partners.
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