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Old 02-06-2006, 12:02 PM   #1
NYCshopper
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Default Mazda to design Ford subcompact

Mazda to design Ford subcompact

http://money.cnn.com/2006/02/06/Auto...icar/index.htm

Quote:
Mazda to design Ford subcompact

Paper says Ford's Japanese partner will lead development of new entry to growing small car market.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - Ford Motor Co. is turning to its Mazda unit to try to play catch up in the growing U.S. market for subcompact cars, according to a published report.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Mazda President and Chief Executive Hisakazu Imaki said Ford's Japanese affiliate will lead a project to develop the basic architecture for Ford's next-generation subcompact vehicle. Ford owns a controlling 33 percent stake in the Japanese automaker.

"We'll help Ford beat the Japanese," he told the paper.

This will not be the first time Ford has used a Mazda-designed basic architecture for U.S.-branded vehicles. Ford's new Fusion sedan and its Mercury Milan and Lincoln Zephyr variants are based on the basic engineering architecture of the Mazda6 sedan. The upcoming Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX crossover SUVs will use that architecture, also.

Work has just begun on the new subcompacts, Imaki told the paper, and it will be a few years before they hit the U.S. and European market.

Ford executives signaled a new push for the small car market when it announced a restructuring plan last month that included plans to close 14 plants and cut 30,000 jobs, including some sites that make sport/utility vehicles.

But other automakers are expanding into the subcompact market, as rising gasoline prices have made it one of the hotter new car segments over the past 12 months.

Sales tracker Autodata reports that subcompact cars, led by the Korean-built Chevrolet Aveo, posted segment-wide growth of about seven percent in 2005, compared with only a two percent growth in sales of other car models, and a 0.8 percent decline in sales of light trucks, such as SUV's, pickups and minivans.

The segment is noted for not just good fuel economy but also low price. The manufacturers' suggested list prices for the vehicles range from $10,500 to $14,000, according to price tracker Edmunds.com.

Other automakers are also closer to introducing new subcompacts into the U.S. market. Toyota Motor is bringing the Yaris, its best-selling model worldwide, to the U.S. market in 2006, while Honda Motor plans to have its new subcompact, the Fit, in U.S. showrooms in March.

Mark Fields, Ford's president of the Americas and a former head of Mazda, said that he believes it is not too late for Ford to make a push in the subcompact market, which he sees showing strong growth over the next five years.

"No company today is putting an American stamp on the small-car segment," he told the Journal. "It's always good to be the first mover, but it is not necessarily over if you are not."
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Old 02-06-2006, 12:40 PM   #2
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So Mazda is designing their sub-compact now.
Mazda already designed the basis for their compact (the Focus).
The Fusion uses the Mazda 6's platform.
Ford's 500 and Freestyle use a Volvo platform.

Does Ford design anything anymore... well besides trucks?!?
And then they wonder why they are down the *****ter.
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Old 02-06-2006, 06:20 PM   #3
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it will probably be the redesigned Mazda2 demio that is available in asia and europe
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Old 02-07-2006, 10:53 AM   #4
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This is nothing new Hazdaz.

The North American Focus is all Ford.
My Escort ('91-'00) is a Mazda Protege.
The Escort before it ('81-'90) was all Ford.
The Probe was a Mazda MX-6.
The Festiva was a Mazda 121.
The Aspire (Festiva replacement) was a Kia body w/ Mazda drivetrain.
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Old 02-07-2006, 12:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hazdaz
So Mazda is designing their sub-compact now.
Mazda already designed the basis for their compact (the Focus).
The Fusion uses the Mazda 6's platform.
Ford's 500 and Freestyle use a Volvo platform.

Does Ford design anything anymore... well besides trucks?!?
And then they wonder why they are down the *****ter.
Not to split hairs here, but wasn't the new Focus platform co-developed between Ford, Mazda and Volvo?

But yeah, this has been going on for years. I had an '89 Mazda MX-6 and my uncle had an '89 Ford Probe, you could literally take the Mazda badge off the engine of my car and swap it with the Ford badge from the engine on his.
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