Mazda6 from Flat Rock to Yamaguchi

Mazda confirmed production of the current midsize sedan, the Mazda6, will be pulled from the U.S. at the end of the current model cycle which could be sometime in 2012.

U.S. model production of the Mazda6 is currently at the AutoAlliance International, Inc. (AAI) plant operated jointly with Ford in Flat Rock, Mich. The joint operation with Ford was started in 1985, and the Mazda6 has been built there since 2002.? The Mazda6 was the first of the brands products to personify the Zoom-Zoom brand message; however the sales of the largest Mazda sedan have declined recently.

The Mazda6, which is known at Atenza in Japan, is currently being built in two other locations: ?the Hofu plant in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan, and the Mazda plant in Changchun, Jilin province, China.

“Our intention is to transfer production of our next CD-car (mid-size sedan) for North America from AAI and consolidate it at Hofu in order to improve production and investment efficiencies and optimize our business,” said Takashi Yamanouchi, Representative Director and Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of Mazda Motor Corporation. “The decision was made after carefully assessing all risks and opportunities, including global needs, changing demand in North America, and exchange rate exposure. Going forward, Mazda will strive to maintain and grow our business in America.

“The decision to relocate to Hofu and consolidate the production of the next CD-car makes the most sense for our business,” stated Mr. Yamanouchi. “However, we are committed to working with Ford, our joint venture partner in AAI, to identify potential future opportunities for the plant. Mazda and Ford have enjoyed a close relationship for over 30 years. We have collaborated on projects where there are mutual benefits, and both companies remain committed to continuing this strategic partnership.”

Mazda is currently sharing the Mazda5 minivan platform with Ford?s upcoming C-Max Minivan.

The current North American Mazda6 will continue to be built at AAI until the end of its current cycle plan. Mazda is conducting various studies with Ford on the future of AAI and will announce details at the appropriate time.



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