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Old 12-01-2006, 05:48 PM   #1
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Default Next Mazda Sub-Compact Car For Europe to Be Produced in HIROSHIMA, Japan

Next Mazda Sub-Compact Car For Europe to Be Produced in HIROSHIMA, Japan

Press Release:
HIROSHIMA, Japan--Mazda Motor Corporation has announced that the company will build its next sub- compact car (B-car) for the European market at its Ujina Plant in Hiroshima, Japan, as part of ongoing efforts to take advantage of global manufacturing efficiencies.

"Currently production of the Mazda2 (known as the Demio in Japan) exists in Valencia, Spain and Hiroshima, Japan. Our intention is to consolidate production of the next B-car into one location in order to maximize the economies of scale and efficiencies that this would offer. After assessing all risks and opportunities, including exchange exposure and Asia's growth potential, it made sense to select Japan as the location," says Mr. Hisakazu Imaki, Representative Director and Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of Mazda Motor Corporation.

"We made the decision to relocate to Hiroshima and consolidate the assembly of the next B-car in consultation with our partner, Ford Motor Company," states Mr. Imaki, " Mazda continues to be an important partner of Ford Motor Company, and our relationship is integral to our global automotive strategy. We will continue to pursue synergies wherever we can."

Production of the Mazda2 in Europe commenced in 2003. It joined the ranks of Mazda's new generation products (beginning with the Atenza/Mazda6 launched in Japan and overseas in 2002) that personify the Zoom-Zoom brand message. The Mazda2 has played an important role in expanding Mazda's market share in the major markets such as Europe, and increasing the public awareness of the Mazda brand.

At the Valencia plant, over 143,000 Mazda2's have been built since production began in 2003. In Japan, production of the first generation Demio commenced in 1996 and the total domestic volume of all Demios/Mazda2's exceeded one million units by the end of September 2006.
The lively exterior design along with highly efficient packaging, enhanced quality interior and outstanding performance and safety helped these models gain a reputation ahead of other compact cars. Mazda has scheduled production of the next B-car to begin in 2007.

Ford of Europe has confirmed that the move will not adversely affect the Valencia assembly plant, where volume will be maintained through higher production of existing models.

related news:

Mazda to Pull Mazda2 Output from Ford Spain Plant


TOKYO/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Japan's Mazda Motor Corp. said on Friday it would stop making the Mazda2 subcompact at Ford Motor Co.'s factory in Spain when it launches a new B-segment car next year, and instead consolidate production in Japan.

Mazda, held one-third by Ford, built 36,000 units of the Mazda2/Demio car at the Valencia plant in 2005, accounting for 9 percent of the 400,000-unit-a-year factory.

Ford of Europe spokesman Todd Nissen said the auto maker would ramp up production of existing models to make up the difference, adding that Mazda's output had fallen to about 7 percent of the total this year.

Mazda said the relocation to its Ujina plant in Hiroshima was aimed at maximising efficiencies through economies of scale by lumping together production of its B-segment subcompact cars.

The yen's current weakness against the euro would also help boost profits, although analysts say Mazda, which exports most of its cars it sells overseas from Japan, needs to eventually reduce its currency exposure by building more vehicles abroad.

The Ujina plant is now working at 87 percent of its capacity of 504,000 units a year, leaving room for roughly 65,000 units. Last year, the factory built 72,000 Mazda2 cars.

Production of the Mazda2 at the Valencia site, which also makes the Ford Focus, Fiesta and Ka models, began in 2003.

With global sales volume growing rapidly, Mazda is looking for ways to boost output capacity from the current 1.45 million units a year. Mazda has said it would outline such steps as part of a new mid-term business plan to be announced next spring.
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