Mazda Motor Co. has decided to stop building the midsize Mazda6 sedan in the United States, raising questions about the future of a US factory that it runs jointly with Ford Motor Co.
Mazda said it would continue making the Mazda6 in Flat Rock, Mich. until the end of the current version’s product cycle, but declined to give a specific date. The car was fully redesigned in 2008.
The company says that it made the decision because of changing demand in North America and currency exchange rates.
Mazda says it is committed to working with Ford on future opportunities for the plant.
However, the automaker on Tuesday said that the company will build its next midsize car (CD-car) for the North American – possible next gen Mazda 6 – market at its Hofu Plant in Yamaguchi prefecture, Japan, as part of ongoing efforts to increase global manufacturing efficiencies.
“Currently, production of the Mazda6 (known as Atenza in Japan) exists in three locations: at our Hofu Plant in Japan, AutoAlliance International (AAI) in Michigan, USA, and at FAW Car Co., Ltd. in Changchun, Jilin province, China. Our intention is to transfer production of our next CD-car for North America from AAI and consolidate it at Hofu in order to improve production and investment efficiencies and optimize our business,” said Takashi Yamanouchi, Representative Director and Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of Mazda Motor Corporation.
The decision was made after carefully assessing all risks and opportunities, including global needs, changing demand in North America, and exchange rate exposure. Going forward, Mazda will strive to maintain and grow our business in America.
“The decision to relocate to Hofu and consolidate the production of the next CD-car, makes the most sense for our business,” stated Mr. Yamanouchi. “However, we are committed to working with Ford, our joint venture partner in AAI, to identify potential future opportunities for the plant. Mazda and Ford have enjoyed a close relationship for over 30 years. We have collaborated on projects where there are mutual benefits, and both companies remain committed to continuing this strategic partnership.”