Alert: Mazda to stop US production? image

Mazda plans to pull the plug on its joint venture with Ford and stop building cars in the U.S., the Nikkei Financial Daily is reporting from Japan.

Mazda will transfer production of Mazda6 vehicles to Yamaguchi prefecture in Japan from the factory in Flat Rock, Michigan, as early as 2013, NHK said, without saying where it obtained the information.

Mazda currently builds the Atenza or Mazda 6 midsize car at its AutoAlliance International joint venture in Flat Rock, Michigan.

The partnership between the companies originally began in November 1979 with a capital tie-up. Last year, Ford reduced its stake in Mazda to just about 3 percent from 11 percent, saying the ownership reduction would give it greater flexibility to pursue growth in emerging markets.

From 2013 Mazda export sell cars made in Japan and Mexico to the United States, the report said.
Mazda made 45,000 cars in the U.S. in the year ended March 2011, less than half of Mazda’s capacity at the venture after the financial crisis hit U.S. car sales, it said.

However, in response, Mazda issued a short statement saying the report was not based on information it had released.

“Mazda and Ford are jointly studying various possibilities for AAI, and we have nothing to announce at this time,” Mazda said. “We do not comment on speculation.”