• Dec 17th 2009 at 8:28AM
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While Ford sold most of its controlling stake in Mazda last November, the two automakers will remain close partners as the companies work together to develop new automotive systems and technologies -- refuting previous reports that the two companies may be drifting apart. The announcement comes from top executives at both Ford and Mazda, which have been meeting recently to discuss further collaborations within the industry.

A strong relationship benefits both automakers. Ford needs Mazda for its insight into manufacturing, product development and its window into the Japanese auto industry. Mazda still relies on Ford for its powertrains (which Ford will continue to provide). The recently launched Ford Fiesta and Mazda2, built on a shared platform, are another example of how the two automakers can work together. The cars were originally engineered for other markets and not intended for sale in the States. When Ford's product strategy changed while they were under development, the two companies met and solved the critical design elements together, making each viable for the domestic market. Problems solved, the Fiesta and Mazda2 debuted at the LA Auto Show earlier this month and are going on sale next year.



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[Source: The Detroit News]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 25 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Mazda still relies on Ford for its powertrains (which Ford will continue to provide).....

      That's not so, well, true. There's plenty of Mazda MZ-R i4 engines in Fords badged as Duratecs. 1.4, 1.6, 2.0, 2.5 - depends on market and models.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Aww.. They're just so CUTE together. I'm glad their relationship is still going strong, after all these years.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'd like to see Ford and Mazda work together on a RWD platform. Ford desperately needs one for Lincoln and Mazda seems like they are a prime candidate for a RWD sports sedan. If nothing else, it would boost volume on the platform enough that Ford may be able to justify building it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        If they were to do that, I would think it'd most likely be based on from something from Ford of Australia. At this stage of the game, neither are really in any mood to go bringing up an entirely new platform for a relatively low-volume car.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think CAFE killed any hopes of bring Australian fords to the US, under Ford or Mazda. The platforms are too heavy. Also, RWD is primarily the realm of luxury cars (price). There aren't many rwd cars on sale now under 30k. Though a RX8 with the MS3 engine would be sweet. A V8 or Ford's new 3.7L V6, while giving you more power, are heavier and will tip the balance to front bias weight. It may come to a shock to some people here, but there are people out there that think that "sport" means handling and are not overly concerned with 0-60 times, look at anything Lotus, miata, rx8, mini, GTI, M3 (look at it's class, others are faster strait line... like c63, but do not handle better).
      • 5 Years Ago
      When do we get the rotary Focus?
        • 5 Years Ago
        hopefully never.
        • 5 Years Ago
        No, a Cougar should only be a proper American RWD platform, a la, Mustang, and only with a V8; no rotary. Ford has been really shortsighted to not put any development dollars into building a Mercury or Lincoln badged car, based on the D2C platform. The engineering work would be minimal, what would be left would be design and marketing. I'd love to see a new, proper Cougar, and a new Mark IX. IMHO, those are two sorely missed sports in the Lincoln/Mercury lineup.
        • 5 Years Ago
        To hell with that, I'd like to see a Mercury Cougar built on the the RX-8 platform with Ford's superb twin turbo 3.5L V6 under the hood.
      • 5 Years Ago
      One of the reasons that Ford is several steps ahead of GM & Chrysler is their tie-in with Mazda. The smaller Japanese company can move through the product development cycle faster than Ford ever could and has brought in some strong designs of late. Most folks forget that the Fusion was designed as a variant of the Mazda6. I think the controlling stake sell-off had more to do with Ford's need for cash than a reflection of stragegic relationships. I wouldn't be surprised to see them buy that back in the future.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "I think the controlling stake sell-off had more to do with Ford's need for cash than a reflection of stragegic relationships. I wouldn't be surprised to see them buy that back in the future."

        Excellent observation.. this is precisely how I interpreted the sale of Ford's controlling stake in Mazda at the time. Ford needed to make sacrifices to execute is new strategy; I think Mazda understood that clearly as well. Nothing in the future is guaranteed, but I think a buy back as you point out would make a lot of sense given the close ties of the two companies.
      • 5 Years Ago
      That's good to know.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I really like that Fiesta...I just wonder what is the space like inside for a six-footer such as myself. I got a brochure the other day in mail saying I can reserve Fiesta online (no obligation to buy). Honestly, this has been one of the most successful automotive partnerships in history.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I test drove the european fiesta and I'm six feet tall (exactly) and I fit in it just fine. More room than my Mercury sable. About the same as my Mariner and Explorer. My son is 6 feet tall as well and he sat in the back seet. No complaints from him.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yeah, those colors are a stretch. That green is plain hideous.

      Holly Moore
      Auto Marketing Systems
      • 5 Years Ago
      I hope the Fiesta sells well, but honestly no 2-door was a deal-breaker for me. I have a ZX3 Focus that runs great so I don't technically need a new car, but was definitely going to get a Fiesta if it was a 2-door to replace my Focus based on just *wanting* it. My wife was even more adamant about not wanting the 4-door model... I think Ford did miss an opportunity. The Yaris hatch is 2-door and I see sooooooooooo many of those here in Austin. I guess we'll have to wait to see what Ford does, but by then there may be a more attractive small car on the market. Who knows... All I know is Ford definitely *lost* a sale because we were 100% ready to buy.
      • 5 Years Ago
      In the history of shared platforms between Ford and Mazda, I think the Fiesta/Mazda 2 is one of the few cases where the Ford version looks better.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm just curious as to why all of the newest subcompacts are being shown in that nuclear green colour...?
        • 5 Years Ago
        They're appealing to the Japanese "boy-racer" image. They know that they can attract a sizable share of people looking for an economical car, based on their sales of the US Focus. The real price is conquest sales, of which they're trying to steal Toyota, Hyundai, and Honda's younger buyers, particularly those idiots that drive around with fartcans, big wings, and ridiculously styled graphics on the sides of their cars. Hence, ridiculous colors.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Demographics.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Good decision.
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