• Feb 22, 2011
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.]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 46 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wow i didnt know Mazda losing that much money. So Mustang and Mazda6 are build in the same factory? weird a coupe and sedan isnt that flexible enough? Maybe crossover based on Mazda6 should be build there too?
        • 3 Years Ago
        It made much more sense initially when the Ford Probe and Mazda MX-6 shared the line with the 626. They were all platform mates so it worked well. The RWD Mustang and the 6 obviously share nothing and neither is a big enough seller to carry the plant.

        Ford might eventually need the extra capacity and Mazda needs to be able to build vehicles in the US to counter the plunging dollar. Lord knows Michigan needs the jobs. A flexible plant building the Mazda 3 and it's variants alongside any extra capacity needed of the Focus and it's variants might work. Otherwise Ford should shift some production of the Fusion to sit alongside the 6.

        The only way this plant has a future is if Ford and Mazda get on the same page.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @judy zik

        If Mazda builds/buys a plant in the US then building the 3 (biggest volume seller) would be logical because the Mazda5 is based off the 3's platform therefore making the two related as well as (if the rumors are true) the CX-5 if it will indeed be based on the same platform.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Whether the yen hurts them for exports or this plant closes I expect their next generation of skyactiv cars to solve any financial problems they may have . Thats just a year away .

      • 3 Years Ago
      Maybe Mazda could convince Ford to build the C-Max there, and Mazda could build the Mazda 5 alongside it. Since they are pretty much the same car.
        • 3 Years Ago
        No, they're both built on the Ford C1 platform.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @MilwWY No, the new Focus and the new C-MAX are built on the new Ford's global C-platform (I think it is a Ford C1+ or a Ford C2 platform).

        The Mazda 5 and the Mazda 3 are the old Ford's C1 platform.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I don't think those two cars are at all related.
      • 3 Years Ago
      What does the Mazda6 have in common with the Mitsubishi Galant? Both were American-built attempts by their automakers to make a mainstream Camry/Accord competitor. Both have failed, though the Mitsu failed worse. These cars used to be smaller and niche-ier, but as the Suzuki Kizashi shows, going down the niche road can be just as dangerous. The ridiculous amount of competition, both the Koreans and Americans making turning out product, and the rising yen all conspire to craft a perfect storm for these second-tier Japanese marques, leaving them without a clear path to profitability.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Having owned a Probe and 2 Mazda's from that plant, I would say the products that come out of that plant are anything but 'Job One'. Never had so many cars that had rattles and ill fitting parts. Compare a Mazdaspeed 6 to the domestic Mazda6 and they are miles apart in quality and finish.

      Perhaps it is the best thing for Mazda to exit stage left
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Skylartoups

        I think you meant fair not far

        1. Mazda 3 are made in Japan and I agree the fit and finish and quality is second to none and why they are amongst the leaders in that class

        2. I was comparing the last gen Speed6 to the normal 6 not in terms of performance or features but the way the body is constructed, the quality of the paint, the consistent gaps etc, the quality of materials as the domestic made ones have to use a significant percentage of locally sourced parts
        • 3 Years Ago
        Respectfully, I can't disagree with you more. I owned a Probe GT (1995), Mazda 6s (2003) and Mazdaspeed 6 (2006). I had no, repeat, no issues with any of those cars outside of the standard issues picked up by TSBs...the same with virtually any car built today.

        @AlanzTalon: you hit it right on the head. The current 6 is just downright ugly and not very "zoom zoom". The original 6 appealed to many because of its value, styling and handling. The drive to make the current 6 the size of the Altima was misguided.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I also couldn't disagree more with Stevenh more either. I had leased a 2006 Mazda Speed6 and was unhappy with the quality:
        *Parking break would stick
        *Rear defrost didn't work when I picked it up
        *In two years, the car was in the dealer 5 times with a check engine light (If I recall most issues were due to a stuck open boost bypass that would stick when it got really cold out).
        *The Velocity Red Mica (my paint) would chip REALLY easy
        *The wheels corroded around the center caps
        *Lastly (although not quality related) they re-flashed my PCM and de-tuned it because it didn't meet emmisions. Felt like I lost 15HP or more.

        All within 2 years and 18,000 miles

        If that car is better than the regular Mazda 6, I would really hate to have one of those.
      • 3 Years Ago
      They'll probably follow Ford into Mexico. Ford already builds the Ford Fusion, that shares the same CD3-2 platform as the Mazda 6, in Mexico and there is an already strong supply chain for that car there. Mazda can start up production in Mexico using established Ford suppliers.

      If they are to go independent they'll make it in the non-union South like every other transplant company (except Mitsubishi that still has that UAW plant in Illinois)
      • 3 Years Ago
      Mazda, the only Japanese car with good looks and a soul.
      This little company building good looking cars barely hanging on.
      Then you have successful Toyota building appliances.
      The world just isn`t right.
      Honda use to be on par with Mazda in the looks dept..
      How Nissan ever got to be bigger than Mazda I`ll never know?

      I always drove Detroit iron and probably always will. We need to either get our industry back or go to hell. I would rather see industry win.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Idea and solution. Kill the "American" Mazda6 here in the states. Replace said "American" Mazda6 with the normal "For everyone else" Mazda6!

      A friend in Oz recently bought a Mazda6 and by the gods it looked sexy. Mazda should consider what Ford is doing and do "World Vehicles". While the current Mazda6 here is ok, the Mazda6 everyone else gets is well just sexy in my eyes. Its like we are dating the "ok" looking sister while in reality we want to be dating her "hawt" sister.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Mazda just recently moved away from the global car idea with the US spec 6 limited market CX-9. (As well as the soon to be dead Mazda Tribute)
      • 3 Years Ago
      With the current redesign, Mazda took the Zoom-Zoom out and put the zzzz-zzzz in. Driving these cars is like driving a Buick...one from the 1980's..
      Oh, @stevenh "Fusion=choice of buying domestic" I am afraid you have never driven or owned one..reliability, quality and comfort all all on par with the vaunted Japanese brands..I have two in my garage right now-each with 50,000+ trouble free miles-no repairs, brakes and tires(Eagle RS-A's no less.)are original. And did I mention they are a blast to drive!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Retooling the factory to build other models would help against the fluctuations in currency between the Yen and USD.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Seems like there should be a business case for building the 3 there, as they sell a ton of them in the US and Canada.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I very seldom see an advertisement for the Mazda 6.
      • 3 Years Ago
      The current 6 LOOKS a lot bigger and heavier than it is. The euro/asia version is actually very close in size.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Yea, it was my understanding that the differences were mostly cosmetic.
        • 3 Years Ago
        they are not similar in size. and the differences are not just cosmetic. the gen2 world spec 6 is the same length as our 1st gen usdm spec 6 (larger bumpers). the previous 6 was basically a world car with a v6 option and larger bumpers. this new one is a completely different car that shares no sheetmetal at all with the world car. not to mention, they cant even offer a 5dr or wagon variant because they designed the american 6 independently to be a large boring sedan. the world spec 5dr and wagon are SEXY as hell. anyone who has seen these in person would agree that their build quality and design attributes would rival the lexus is.
        • 3 Years Ago
        heres a pic from the world spec mazda6 user manual comparing the gen1 and gen 2 sizes: http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g273/H15A5H1/gen1vgen2world.jpg

        hardly just cosmetic differences compared to the bloated boring mazda6 we got in usa.
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