Mazda Expands Mexican Plant Project image

Mazda said that the plant it is building in Mexico, which will also produce cars for Toyota, will be larger than previously planned.

At the beginning of this month Mazda said it will manufacture 50,000 small cars annually for Toyota beginning with 2015 at the Salamanca, Mexico, which is currently under construction. The facility will be fully utilized and will produce 190,000 cars annually, from which 140,000 will be Mazda vehicles.

“As a strategic production location, total volume for the Mexico operation will be larger than the combination of the two,” Yamanouchi said, without elaborating. “I think we’ll be able to make an announcement very soon.”

Several automakers, including Mazda, have announced their plans to build in Mexico, lower-cost production plants to manufacture small cars for North America. Unlike Nissan, Honda and Toyota, Mazda currently imports from Japan all the vehicles sold in the US, after it ended production of Mazda6 sedans in Michigan.

Besides the low production costs, Mexico also has free trade agreements with 37 nations, which makes the country an attractive market to export vehicles. The Salamanca plant will be opened in fiscal 2014 and will manufacture Mazda2 and Mazda3 small cars.