Ford Motor Company has announced that it will be reducing its stake in Mazda Motor Corporation and will sell its shares to Mazda business partners through off-action trading.

Ford's current stake in Mazda is 11 percent. After completion of the share transfer, Ford will continue to be one of Mazda's largest shareholders with a stake of 3.5 percent. In the best interests of Mazda's stakeholders and other shareholders, the remaining 7.5 percent will be transferred to Mazda's business partners via off-auction trading through the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Mazda and Ford have agreed to continue their strategic partnership and this change in shareholding will not affect Mazda's business direction or financial projections.

"Ford will remain one of Mazda's largest shareholders with a 3.5- percent stake, and both companies are committed to continuing our strategic partnership which spans over 30 years," says Mazda's Representative Director and Chairman of the Board, President and CEO, Takashi Yamanouchi. "Mazda and Ford will continue to collaborate on areas of mutual benefit such as key joint ventures, joint projects and exchange of technology information."