No word yet on Philippine releaseMazda Motor Corporation, together with its distributor in Thailand, Mazda Sales (Thailand) Co., Ltd. (MST), and its distributor in Malaysia, Bermaz Motor Sdn. Bhd., have announced that local assembly of the second-generation Mazda3 has begun in Thailand and Malaysia.
On February 28, 2011, MST announced that local assembly of the Mazda3 in Thailand had begun at AutoAlliance (Thailand) Co., Ltd. (AAT). The Mazda3 will be sold as one of Mazda's mainstay models in the Thai market alongside the Mazda BT-50 pickup truck and the Mazda2.
In Malaysia, Bermaz Motor announced that sales of the locally-produced Mazda3 began on March 2, 2011, following the commencement of local assembly by Inokom Corporation Sdn. Bhd. Bermaz Motor has been selling Mazda3 models imported from Japan since June 2009. The change to local production was made in response to expected sales growth.
"Originally launched in 2003, the Mazda3 has become one of our core products. Today, it represents the Mazda brand in over one hundred countries and regions, and with annual sales of 440,000 units, it comprises roughly one third of all Mazda vehicle sales. Going forward, we have great expectations that the locally-produced Mazda3 will drive the Mazda brand forward in the rapidly growing Thai and Malaysian markets," said Yuji Nakamine, Mazda's managing executive officer in charge of overseas sales.
Before production begun, first generation Mazda3 vehicles imported from the Philippines assembled at Ford Group Philippines' (FGP) plant in Santa Rosa, Laguna were sold in Thailand, Malaysia., and Indonesia FGP officials have yet to comment on the future of the Mazda3 and its production. There is still no word as to when they plan to release the second generation Mazda3 in the Philippines as well.