Mazda6 s Grand Touring – Click above for high-res image gallery

AutoAlliance International is located in Flat Rock, Michigan, and the factory serves as a joint-venture assembly plant for Ford and Mazda. The Blue Oval builds the Mustang, while its Japanese partner churns out the Mazda6. There seems to be a problem, though – at least on Mazda's end of the partnership.

Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK), is reporting that Mazda is looking to get out of the venture. According to the report, the automaker will remove itself from the partnership by as early as 2013, sending Mazda6 production back to its Yamaguchi prefecture facilities in Japan. Mazda's profits are understood to be hurting due to the yen-dollar exchange rate, and the Mazda6's less-than-stellar sales volumes in the States can't be helping, either.

Both Ford and Mazda are dismissing the report as speculative, but Mazda admits it has been discussing "future plans" for the facility.


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  • 24 Comments
      lzaffuto
      • 3 Years Ago
      Maybe instead of making a different "American" Mazda6 they should just sell the standard one in our market. The previous one sold well enough without being a separate model for our market.
        ihatemacs9
        • 3 Years Ago
        @lzaffuto
        the previous generation sold well compared to the current gen, they are still far below accord and camry which was the reason for the bigger, bulkier, more american version. they recognized the importance of the US market to honda and toyota and tried to take a slice of that pie for their own. unfortunately americans love their resale values more than the experience and the journey itself.
      tagg8019
      • 3 Years Ago
      Mazdas problems are far deeper than the typical Autoblog rants of "the Mazda6 is a bad car" and "its a UAW factory". Mazda has increasing losses from 6.5 billion yen in 2009 to over 60 billion yen in 2010 and this year could be worse. The Auto Alliance plant has been unprofitable for Mazda for a while and underutilized since it was built. Most of the components (engines, trans, etc.) come from Japan where the high Yen is hurting profits. Also the Japanese market has been weakening for a while now and Mazda has really struggled the last few years in their home market. If they built another model at the Auto Alliance plant Mazda would run into the same issues they have with the 6 since Nearly all of their suppliers are based in Japan and subjected to the same currency issue. Hopefully they figure out the business case soon becuase Mazda makes great product with only the CX-7 being below average.
        NightFlight
        • 3 Years Ago
        @tagg8019
        There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with the CX-7 aside from poor FE figures. It is actually one of my favorite CUVs in its class, hands down. Have you even driven one?
          tagg8019
          • 3 Years Ago
          @NightFlight
          Yes, I've driven many and I've even sold them. The first gen CX-7 is a tire shredding nightmare. I used to shudder when a lease return came in with 28,000 miles and bald tires on the car. Then only to listen to how they replaced they rotated the tires regularly and even bought new ones at 20,000 miles and still get charged by Mazda for excessive tire wear on turn in. I've even looked at their service records just ot see if they were telling the truth about tire rotations and most of them where truthful. So yes, I have driven them but and it does drive great but I've had to deal with people who have actually lived with one and they were not happy. Out of about 10 CX-7 lease returns only two leased/bought another Mazda and neither was another CX-7. Have you owned one or just driven one for a test drive?
          BC
          • 3 Years Ago
          @NightFlight
          The CX-7 is great looking and performing; it's the reliability that has been declining, in contrast to most vehicles which have been improving over time.
        BC
        • 3 Years Ago
        @tagg8019
        Basically, they are not big enough to remain independent and Ford has sold most of its stake and will no longer be providing cash infusions even though they continue to cooperate on development in some areas. The big question is what larger manufacturer they can hook up with, as most of the dance partners have already been taken--Volkswagen might be logical, but they have already invested in Suzuki so they might not be interested.
      guyverfanboy
      • 3 Years Ago
      Mazda could help its sales by giving the green light for a production Shinari. That would be awesome. :) Perhaps it would be better for Mazda to have 'em made in Mexico.
      SHF
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ford is moving production of the Mustang to Detroit, I don't think Mazda will operate out of that plant alone
        mitchman06
        • 3 Years Ago
        @SHF
        They could if they tried. 1. Get the UAW out, first and foremost. They will suck the life (and cost efficiencies) out of any manufacturing plant. 2. Retool the entire place. 3. Build the new CX-5 there alongside the popular Mazda3 and continue producing the Mazda6. Maybe this would work out better if the next generation models had suppliers from within the US, Canada and Mexico instead of all components and supplies coming directly from Japan. Heck, I'd love to see more American jobs.
      kevsflanagan
      • 3 Years Ago
      If this allows them to sell the Mazda 6 that the rest of the world gets then I'm all for it!
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      nardvark
      • 3 Years Ago
      I don't understand how dropping US production will address the yen/dollar imbalance. And you would think after the earthquake that they would have wanted to geographically diversify production more, not less. But perhaps the administrative costs are too high for a low-volume facility. Maybe they should go back to the winning formula of the 1st Gen 6 and get rid of the bloated 2nd Gen that doesn't sell.
      iQuack
      • 3 Years Ago
      I had a Mazda Protegé and it was an excellent car. Replaced it with a Honda Accord because the Mazda 6 was a disappointment. Mazda 6 doesn't seem to be much better (except for rear seat room) than the Mazda 3. Seems that while the while the Accord is far more upscale than the Civic, and the Camry is similarly better than the Corolla, Mazda offers its 3 model as a clear alternative to the Mazda 6. If you don't need a roomy back seat, there's no advantage in buying the Mazda 6 unless you want a V6 engine which isn't needed in any modern car of mid-size or less IMO.
        nardvark
        • 3 Years Ago
        @iQuack
        V6 might not be needed, but it's a hell of a lot of fun.
      Richard S.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I agree with other posts: It does not make sense. 1)The Yen is too strong so they reply by moving production from U.S. to Japan? 2)They have spare capacity in the plant while the Japanese plants are affected by the Earthquake so they respond by shifting yet more production to Japan? This just shows how in the end, the Japanese company will sacrifice profits to save Japanese jobs. For all the acoolades of US jobs the transplants bring, when push comes to shove, it is the the American jobs that will go first.
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