- Feb 22, 2011
Report: Mazda mulling fate of MI joint-venture plant with Ford
2009 Mazda6 s Grand Touring – Click above for high-res image gallery
The Flat Rock, MI plant that Mazda and Ford currently share is the only facility in the U.S. where the Japanese automaker currently builds vehicles. But sales of the Mazda6 were down to 45,000 units in 2010, and, combined with Mustang production, the facility is only able to run one shift. That's just not profitable.
Automotive News reports that the Japanese automaker is weighing it's options at the facility. Those choices could include overhauling the facility to produce a greater variety of models, handing over the facility to Ford or something a bit darker. AN reports that, when asked whether the plant could be closed, Mazda CFO Kiyoshi Ozaki replied, "Never say never."
Complicating the issue is the fact that Mazda already exports 80 percent of all vehicles from Japan. That's a problem since the Yen has risen to a 15-year high, which could make profits difficult to come by. In fact, Mazda lost $32.5 million in the last quarter of 2010.
Photos Copyright ©2011 John Neff / AOL
[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]