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Mazda and Ford have long participated in a joint-venture at the Auto Alliance International facility located in Flat Rock, Michigan. Mazda presently uses the facility to produce the Mazda6, while Ford pumps out the Mustang. We heard rumblings that Mazda was looking to pull out of the partnership, and now those rumors have a bit more teeth. Mazda has announced that its next mid-size sedan will be produced at the Hofu plant in Japan.

Currently, the Mazda6 (also known as the Atenza) is built at AAI, Hofu and at China's FAW Car Co. Mazda is going to continue to build the current Mazda6 at those three locations. Production of the next-generation car will be transferred from AAI to Hofu.

Importantly, Mazda they are examining other opportunities with Ford, so as to continue participating in the joint venture at AAI.
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Next Midsize Car for North America To Be Built in Hofu, Japan

HIROSHIMA, Japan-Mazda Motor Corporation has announced that the company will build its next midsize car (CD-car) for the North American market at its Hofu Plant in Yamaguchi prefecture, Japan, as part of ongoing efforts to increase global manufacturing efficiencies.

"Currently, production of the Mazda6 (known as Atenza in Japan) exists in three locations: at our Hofu Plant in Japan, AutoAlliance International (AAI) in Michigan, USA, and at FAW Car Co., Ltd. in Changchun, Jilin province, China. Our intention is to transfer production of our next CD-car 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."

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.

AAI was established as Mazda Motor Manufacturing (USA) Corporation in 1985. It became a joint venture between Mazda Motor Corporation and Ford Motor Company in 1992, when the name was changed to AutoAlliance International, Inc. Since production commenced in1987, the facility has produced over 1.7 million Mazda vehicles, including the Mazda MX-6, Mazda 626 and the Mazda6. Mazda6 production began at AAI in 2002, and to date the facility has built over 500,000 units. The Mazda6 went on sale in 2002 as the first of Mazda's new generation products to personify the Zoom-Zoom brand message, and it has continued to gain a strong following ever since.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 31 Comments
      Skylar Ross Toups
      • 4 Years Ago
      I hope this means the Mazda6 will go back down in size and join the dimensions of it's siblings elsewhere in the world.
        RZ-Civic
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Skylar Ross Toups
        And bring back the Sport Hatchback and Sport Wagon variants as well! :D I don't understand why these manufacturers insist on making a separate version for the North American market. Canadian vehicle preferences are quite different than the US. The US prefers large sedans and SUV's, while Canada prefers small cars and minivans.
          Zoom
          • 4 Years Ago
          @RZ-Civic
          You mean the models that didn't sell?
      Felspawn
      • 4 Years Ago
      So wait, they area moving production back to Japan and yet one of their complains in their recent quarter complained about the high value of th Yen.... that doesnt make sense,. you'd think they would move more production here to take advantage of the weak dollar.
        kevsflanagan
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Felspawn
        The only logic I can assume with all this is that the majority of parts for the Mazda 6 are made in Japan and then shipped to the US. This is costing them more money than they can stomache plus the fact the 6 isnt selling like hot cakes is causing a lose in profit they expected to make everything even out and a tidy profit.. Again only logic I can think of about all this.
      Zoom
      • 4 Years Ago
      Can't they just slightly enlarge the Mazda3 and call it day?
      carboy55
      • 4 Years Ago
      Given the yen-to-dollar exchange rate, shareholders would have every right to ask the current board to step down after this piece of financial malfeasance.
        goober1424
        • 4 Years Ago
        @carboy55
        I get your point but at the same time Mazda would have to invest heavily in either a brand new facility or for retooling the AAI facility to build a car that shares absolutely nothing with the other car (Mustang) that is being built there.
      kevsflanagan
      • 4 Years Ago
      If this will bring about the Mazda 6 the rest of the world gets then I'm all for it.
        MANARC100
        • 4 Years Ago
        @kevsflanagan
        The next gen mazda 6 will be pretty much the same all over the world. They did learn from the past generation that mazda buyers dont want a camry and camry buyers dont want a mazda. Mazda has said they are commited to making all their new products lighter, quicker and more fuel efficent.
          Making11s
          • 4 Years Ago
          @MANARC100
          "mazda buyers dont want a camry and camry buyers dont want a mazda" No truer words have ever been said about the 6.
      stever
      • 4 Years Ago
      best.news.ever
      billfrombuckhead
      • 4 Years Ago
      EXPECT MAZDA, MITSUBISHI AND SUZUKI TO GO AWAY TO ISUZULAND! MAYBE MAZDA CAN MAKE DIESELS FOR FORD!
        goober1424
        • 4 Years Ago
        @billfrombuckhead
        Why are you yelling? Also, good job in showing your closed-minded ignorance. Mazda is the fifth largest Japanese auto manufacturer in the world, Mitsubishi is sixth and Suzuki is fourth. When we add in all the auto manufacturers they rank: Suzuki - 10th, Mazda - 15th, Mitsubishi - 17th. While we are at it, Isuzu may not be lighting the personal car market on fire, however they are the world's largest manufacturer of medium to heavy duty trucks.
          AnonymousOne
          • 4 Years Ago
          @goober1424
          The Miata disagrees with Bill ... it disagrees and it challenges him to find a current production US roadster that is anywhere close to it's level of awesomeness.
        plarson79
        • 4 Years Ago
        @billfrombuckhead
        Mazda is not going anywhere. Take you head out of your a$$
          NightFlight
          • 4 Years Ago
          @plarson79
          @ billfrombuckhead People said the same thing about your favorite car company, Chrysler, and look what happened with them. plarson79 is right, take your head out of your a$$.
          billfrombuckhead
          • 4 Years Ago
          @plarson79
          All the Asian car freaks are switching to Korean cars. Losing Mazda is no loss, they haven't built a compelling car in a decade. Maybe Hyundai can buy Mazda out, then Hyundai could finally get a beach head in Japan but then the Japanese won't let foreign companies have more than 50% ownership. That's why Ford left.
      _M7_
      • 4 Years Ago
      JA !!! could this be couse usa manofactures always show up som problems as whit the tundra, titan, etc etc ???
        _M7_
        • 4 Years Ago
        @_M7_
        sad but tru if you dont like it ... why american car maker were on bankruptcy, and this its a post not an Email ...baby crying coments
      • 4 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        • 4 Years Ago
        [blocked]
          FaM
          • 4 Years Ago
          So insightful thanks for commenting. The current 6 is not a POS it just mazda trying to be toyota and forgetting its a mazda. Having anger at mazda for doing what they need to do to make a better product at their local plants is illlogical.
          • 4 Years Ago
          [blocked]
          Philip M'Rear
          • 4 Years Ago
          An Intelligence test should be required to post here. Then we'll stop seeing anti-Japan, pro-UAW comments from these xenophobic nitwits.
          Philip M'Rear
          • 4 Years Ago
          Well, if you lived in a real country, easyride-fail, your comments might carry more weight. I stand by my xenophobic nitwit comment.
      brgtlm
      • 4 Years Ago
      Mazda needs to stop chasing Honda and Toyota because they will never beat them at their own game. They need to specialize and differentiate by creating cars that are compelling to drive and are good looking inside and out. The Mazda6 became less compelling to drive and overstyled and bloated on the outside and the interior remains pretty mediocre. Nobody ever wins by going after volume: see VW and their new and underwhelming designs.
        VictorRaikkonen
        • 4 Years Ago
        @brgtlm
        Exactly. You would have thought that Mazda learned that lesson before with the 929 and the Millenia. I'm hoping that the Shinari concept we saw last year greatly influences their future designs.
      jbm0866
      • 4 Years Ago
      As a previous owner of an 04 Mazda 6, I can tell you that build quality was lacking in a few areas. However, some of that was due to design and material choice which can't really be blamed on the assembly plant location. I know there used to be a percieved difference between the same car built in the U.S. versus Japan...but I remember a car mag doing a comparo many years ago and finding little if any difference.
      lne937s
      • 4 Years Ago
      The current NA 6 was built to share more components with the Fusion, with which it shares a platform, leading the version we get here to be more like the larger, softer Fusion than the JDM 6. As Ford has sold its stake in Mazda, the models are diverging with fewer shared parts. As such, building the 6 in a Ford plant doesn't make as much sense as it used to.
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