Mazda may halt U.S. production image

Japanese automaker – Mazda Motor Corp. is considering halting production at its U.S. joint venture with Ford Motor.

Mazda currently shares a production facility in Flat Rock, MI with Ford. The plant is the only facility in the U.S. where the Japanese automaker builds vehicles. Its approximately 2,700,000 square feet (251,000 m2) and currently employs over 2,600 hourly and salaried workers.

Back in 1987, the Japanese automaker bought the plant and reopened it as Mazda Motor Manufacturing USA for production. Ford repurchased a 50% share in the plant on April 15, 1992, and it officially became a joint-venture and was renamed AutoAlliance International on July 1, 1992.

“We have been studying various measures to improve business of Auto Alliance International, but nothing has been decided,” Mazda spokeswoman Kozue Nitta said, referring to the firm’s 50-50 production joint venture with Ford in Flat Rock, Michigan.

‘Nothing has been decided,’ Mazda spokeswoman Kozue Nitta said.

The company ‘has been discussing the improvement of the operation,‘ Nitta said.

The Japanese automaker may transfer the plant’s production of the Atenza sedan, known as the Mazda6 overseas, to one of its plant in Japan as early as 2013. But Mazda will keep intact its stake in the joint venture and keep open the possibility of resuming production in Michigan.

Another possibility may come from Russia, where Mazda is studying the possibility of building its first assembly plant in the Maritimie Teritory. Again, nothing has been decided.