Mazda Motor Corporation recently held a groundbreaking ceremony at the construction site of its new transmission plant in Thailand's Chonburi province. To be officially called as Mazda Powertrain Manufacturing (Thailand) Co., Ltd. (MPMT), the wholly owned plant will be housed on a 49,000 square meter building that will sit on top of a 209,000 square meter land, and will have approximately 500 employees once it starts its operation.

“SKYACTIV technology is gaining wide acclaim all around the world. Establishing our second transmission plant, MPMT, here in Thailand will greatly enhance our SKYACTIV production system and ensure that we can meet future demand for our products. This will not only help ensure Mazda's continued growth into the future, but also make a significant contribution to the development of the automotive industry in Thailand." commented Seita Kanai, Mazda Vice Chairman of the Board.

Mazda is targeting global sales of 1.7 million units by March 2016 with 80 percent of those models are expected to feature Skyactiv technology. Expanding the company's global production footprint is one of the initiatives of Mazda's Structural Reform Plan. Operations are expected to start at MPMT during the first half of fiscal year ending March 2016 and the plant will produce about 400,000 Skyactiv-Drive transmissions per year. Combined with the Nakanoseki district of Hofu Plant in Japan, this will raise Mazda's Skyactiv transmission production capacity to 1.54 million units per year globally.

Approximately 50 people attended the ceremony including Senior Executive Investment Advisor from the Thailand Board of Investment, Ajarin Pattanapanchai; Governor of the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand, Verapong Chaiperm; President of Kajima Corporation, Mitsuyoshi Nakamura; Mazda's Representative Director and Vice Chairman of the Board, Seita Kanai and the president of MPMT, Hidenori Kawakami.