Is the Ford Mustang plant in jeopardy now that Mazda is pulling out of Flat Rock?

Once the current Mazda6 reaches the end of its life cycle, Mazda will begin production on the next-generation car. The automaker won't be building the midsize sedan in the U.S. anymore. Currently, the Mazda6 is built in Flat Rock, Michigan, at the AutoAlliance International assembly facility that the Japanese automaker shares with Ford. The Blue Oval brand churns out the Mustang in Flat Rock, and with Mazda moving on, there could be trouble ahead for the pony car.

According to analysts polled by Bloomberg, the current pace of Mustang production is not enough on its own to sustain the Flat Rock plant. The AAI has a capacity of 240,000 vehicles in a year, yet the Mustang sold 73,716 units in 2010. Ford is reportedly working with Mazda to find other uses for the site, which would be a better alternative to having Mazda simply walk away.

The flipside of Mazda ending U.S. production of its Mazda6 is that Ford will have increased options as to what it can do with the Mustang. Still, unless the Blue Oval starts churning out a hybrid, wagon, crossover and pickup truck version, Ford will need something else to keep Flat Rock in the business of building cars, especially until the 'Stan's next scheduled redesign for 2014.

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