After the turmoil of last year, 2013 is getting off to a much better start for Mazda. The company has issued a release indicating that the forthcoming plant in Salamanca, Mexico has had its production capacity raised even though it isn't scheduled to go online until March 2014. The original plans called for a 140,000-unit capacity, 90,000 of that allotted for the Mazda2 and Mazda3, the remaining 50,000 for a small car Mazda would build for Toyota that would be based on the Mazda2. The new plans call for raising that by 90,000 units to a total of 230,000 units within two years, by the end of March 2016, and it looks like it will all go toward Mazda production to satisfy growing demand for Skyactiv vehciles. The Mexican plant's opening will be the return of Mazda manufacturing to North America, after Mazda6 production was moved back to Japan last year.

More good news for the company is that it projects 10 billion yen ($114 million) in net income for the financial year that will end in March. That would be a welcome turnaround from the 100-billion-yen loss in the previous financial year, part of a series of three annual losses in a four-year span.

You'll find the press release with the factory update below.
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Mazda to Increase Production Capacity in Mexico
Annual capacity of 230,000 units from financial year ending March 2016


Jan 3, 2013 -- Mazda Motor Manufacturing de Mexico S.A. de C. V (MMMdM), a joint venture production company owned by Mazda Motor Corporation and Sumitomo Corporation, announced on (date purposely deleted) that production capacity at its plant currently under construction in Salamanca, Mexico will be increased in the fiscal year ending March 2016.

MMMdM, will commence operations at the new plant in the fourth quarter of its fiscal year ending March 2014 with an initial production of 140,000 units annually. Capacity will be increased to 230,000 units in the fiscal year ending March 2016. The increase will accommodate the additional annual production of approximately 50,000 Toyota-branded vehicles, beginning in the summer of 2015, as well as the increasing worldwide demand for Mazda's SKYACTIV vehicles.

Takashi Yamanouchi, Mazda's Representative Director, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO, speaking at a New Year's event in Hiroshima, Japan, said, "this production capacity increase is an important part of Mazda's drive to strengthen its overseas production base as laid out in our medium- to long-term plan. It is important to note that this capacity increase in Mexico which will allow us to meet our production agreement with Toyota as well as the growing demand for our SKYACTIV products around the world, will be incremental to production in Japan. We will ensure a globally-balanced production footprint while maintaining domestic production in Japan at current levels. The Mazda2 and Mazda3 models produced at the plant will be sold throughout North, Central and South America."

Mexico has free trade agreements with many regions and countries including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), making it a very advantageous location from which to export vehicles. Mazda will ensure quality at the Mexican plant by training key production personnel at the company's headquarters in Hiroshima. With this production capacity increase the Mexico plant will become a key production base and play an essential role in Mazda's global business.

Outline of Mazda's new plant in Mexico (As of FYE March 2016)

Company name
Mazda Motor Manufacturing de Mexico S.A. de C.V.

Location
Salamanca City, Guanajuato State, Mexico

Amount of investment
Approximately 650 million dollars

Production models
Mazda2, Mazda3 , Toyota vehicle

Production capacity
Approximately 230,000 units annually

Number of employees
Approximately 4,500 people