With fluctuations in international currencies and rising shipping costs to take into account, foreign automakers can't get away with building cars overseas and selling them in North America as easily as they used to. Particularly with inexpensive mainstream models. And given the benefits of cheaper labor and free trade under NAFTA, many have opted to assemble their cars for the North American market in Mexico. That's why the likes of Toyota, Mercedes and BMW have all opened plants in Mexico. And now Mazda has followed suit.

Ground was initially broken for Mazda de Mexico Vehicle Operations at Salamanca in the state of Gunajuato back in 2011, but production has just now gotten under way. The first vehicle to roll off the line? A Mazda3 sedan destined for the United States. Soon, the plant will begin production of the next Mazda2 as well, selling it alongside its larger counterpart across the Americas and in Europe as production expands to 230,000 units annually. For more information, see the official press release below.
Show full PR text
MAZDA STARTS PRODUCTION AT NEW PLANT IN MEXICO
First model off the line is all-new Mazda3 sedan for the USA

Hiroshima, Japan, 7 January 2014: Mazda Motor Corporation today announced that production has begun at its new plant in Mexico. The plant, named Mazda de Mexico Vehicle Operation* (MMVO), is located in Salamanca, in the state of Guanajuato. The first model produced was the all-new Mazda3 sedan for the US market.

Regarding the commencement of production, Keishi Egawa, Mazda's Managing Executive Officer in charge of New Emerging Market Operation (Latin America) and President and CEO of Mazda Motor Manufacturing de Mexico, S.A. de C.V. (Mazda de Mexico Vehicle Operation), said; "We have sent over 150 engineers and supervisors to Mazda's plants in Hiroshima and Hofu, and made every effort to ensure that we are manufacturing products of the highest quality here at MMVO.

"With the start of mass production, we now have a system capable of offering vehicles of the same high quality as those made in Japan, on a global scale, and that is extremely gratifying. We are committed to continue our efforts to contribute to the growth of Mexico's economy through the production of vehicles and the development of personnel who support and lead the automobile industry here."

Mazda has sold approximately 180,000 vehicles in Mexico since it entered the market in 2005. The brand is highly regarded, and in 2013 sold a record 33,000 units in the country. In addition to the USA, MMVO will produce the all-new Mazda3 for other countries in the Americas and for Europe. Moving forward, Mazda intends to strengthen its production system in Mexico and expand the production model line-up to include the Mazda2.

Mazda in Mexico

2005 Entered the Mexican market
2011 September: Established MMVO, a joint venture with Sumitomo Corporation
October: Groundbreaking ceremony for MMVO
2012 September: Seita Kanai, then Mazda's Representative Director and Executive Vice President, made Honorary Consul of the United Mexican States in Hiroshima
2013 January: Announced plan to increase production capacity at MMVO to 230,000 units annually in fiscal year (ending March 2016)
April: Takashi Yamanouchi, then Mazda's Representative Director and Chairman of the Board, President and CEO, awarded the Order of the Aztec Eagle
2014 January: Production begins
October: Operations scheduled to begin at engine machining factory


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 59 Comments
      bonehead
      • 1 Year Ago
      Mazda Tres
      Phontsolo
      • 1 Year Ago
      Eager to see the new Mazda 2 with Mazda's current design language. Front end especially.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      nocommie11
      • 1 Year Ago
      Prejudices of trailer park hillbillies here aside, I'd buy any car made in Mexico before any car built by UAW.
        ELG
        • 1 Year Ago
        @nocommie11
        *applause*
        • 1 Year Ago
        @nocommie11
        [blocked]
      ELG
      • 1 Year Ago
      MAZDA STOP EATING TACOS AND BRING ME A MAZDASPEED 6 WAGON!!!!
      Essende
      • 1 Year Ago
      .... and there goes the reliability.
        plarson79
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Essende
        Read the press release.....over 150 trained engineers and supervisors were trained in Japan to ensure the highest quality possible. I think Mazda has it covered...
          plarson79
          • 1 Year Ago
          @plarson79
          @Essende I never said Mazda was the most reliable company out there. They are pretty damn good though according to several 3rd party assessments. The issues you had with your VW Jetta and Fiat 500 were because they were made by manufacturers that have a well documented history of trouble, not because they were built in Mexico.
          GR
          • 1 Year Ago
          @plarson79
          Gung Ho, Mexico-style.
          Essende
          • 1 Year Ago
          @plarson79
          @plarson79, Mazda is not the most reliable company to begin with, the press release that you have quoted does not inspire any confidence in me... All I know is, I had a hecho en Mexico VW Jetta and Fiat 500 and both of them had a lot of weird little problems (mostly electrical) to the point that I simply got rid of them...
      Joe Schmoe
      • 1 Year Ago
      ...and yet more potential jobs sent to another country. Can I agree to paying $200 more per unit if the jobs are kept in the US? If so, sign me up.
        Matt
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Joe Schmoe
        More jobs in Mexico=less illegal immigrants coming into the US. How much is that worth to you?
        Matt
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Joe Schmoe
        This stuff works by market forces, that's the upside and downside of capitalism. If you'd be willing to pay more and can get enough of the consumer base to join you, I'm sure things would change. However, most people will still pick the lower price. Oh the trade off of efficient markets, free trade and capitalism
      ELG
      • 1 Year Ago
      yay! more profitability = more likely of a new sports car or mazdaspeed editions!
      Scr
      • 1 Year Ago
      Well, scratch that off my list.
      username
      • 1 Year Ago
      What I read was "What was once a well built, good car, the Mazda 3 will now fall apart."
      GR
      • 1 Year Ago
      While I understand why they moved production to Mexico for North American Mazda3's, I'm not too thrilled about it. It's nothing against the Mexican labor force, but rather I simply prefer Made in Japan Japanese cars. Having lived in Japan for a long time, I know the work ethic and dedication over there. Even workers in a convenience store know the drill. Quality and service are the backbones of consumer relations in Japan and they go to show it. They take pride in their work. Well, given that the Mazda6 is now made in Japan (instead of the US like the previous models), I think the 6 will be the Mazda I'd get if I get into one again. My previous car was a 2005 Mazda3 (made in Japan) and it was a good car, but its Ford-sourced parts made it the least reliable car I've owned. Again, not that it was bad, but my Made in Japan 1995 Subaru Impreza was a more reliable and durable car. I now own another Made in Japan car and it's holding up rather good so far. Let's just hope they keep the Mazdaspeed3 made in Japan.
        The_Zachalope
        • 1 Year Ago
        @GR
        "and it was a good car, but its Ford-sourced parts made it the least reliable car I've owned." There are so few Ford-sourced parts in the 1st Gen Mazda3, it's not even funny, unless the chassis (which is actually Volvo developed) attribute that much to the reliability of the vehicle.
          David Donovan
          • 1 Year Ago
          @The_Zachalope
          So in other words GR you beat the hell out of your car. Let me see.......issues with motor mounts and front wheel bearings. It couldn't POSSIBLY have anything to do with you doing burnouts and racing it could it?
          GR
          • 1 Year Ago
          @The_Zachalope
          You probably never owned one so so much for your arm-chair expert theories. The well-known defective passenger side motor mount has FoMoCo stamped on it. My OEM front wheel bearings that went out at 60k and then the second set that did not last 26k both had FoMoCo stamped on them. Both were OEM, Mazda installed. Sorry, but that's all the proof I need, buddy. FoMoCo tainted the car and it's no secret among Mazda3 owners. Just go visit a forum and educate yourself. Also, more about the chassis since you were wrong yet again: "Thirty engineers each from Ford, Mazda, and Volvo worked in Cologne for two years to combine the compact car engineering for all three automakers under the direction of Ford Director of C Technologies Derrick Kuzak, Ford of Europe vice president of product development.[1]" Not exactly a Volvo design. Co-developed is what it actually was under the guidance of big daddy Ford. Since then, both Volvo and Mazda parted ways with Ford and for the better.
        gregmlr
        • 1 Year Ago
        @GR
        I agree. It doesn't matter how well a car is designed if those assembling it have a sub-par work ethic. However, a Mexican built American car would be a step up from one built here north of the border.
      CarSnaab
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is great for Mazda and therefore great for auto enthusiasts. Mazda needs a more favorable way to do business to stay in business. For all those saying quality will go downhill, I don't fully agree. Those who work with manufacturing know that quality is designed into the process whether from in process quality checks or engineering of components and assemblies. Quality is a cultural thing. That does not mean the culture of the people necessarily. You do as your employer dictates. If you employer has a culture of quality, then your employees will adopt that. I am fully confident that Mexican made Mazdas will be reliable quality vehicles. The question is whether they'll be as good as those from Japan.
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