"Currently production of the Mazda2 (known as the Demio in Japan) exists in Valencia, Spain and Hiroshima, Japan. Our intention is to consolidate production of the next B-car into one location in order to maximise the economies of scale and efficiencies that this would offer. After assessing all risks and opportunities, including exchange exposure and Asia's growth potential, it made sense to select Japan as the location," says Mr Hisakazu Imaki, Representative Director and Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of Mazda Motor Corporation.
"We made the decision to relocate to Hiroshima and consolidate the assembly of the next B-car in consultation with our partner, Ford Motor Company," states Mr Imaki, "Mazda continues to be an important partner of Ford Motor Company, and our relationship is integral to our global automotive strategy. We will continue to pursue synergies wherever we can."
Production of the Mazda2 in Europe commenced in 2003. It joined the ranks of Mazda's new generation products (beginning with the Atenza/Mazda6 launched in Japan and overseas in 2002) that personify the Zoom-Zoom brand message. The Mazda2 has played an important role in expanding Mazda's market share in the major markets such as Europe, and increasing the public awareness of the Mazda brand.
At the Valencia plant, over 143,000 Mazda2s have been built since production began in 2003. In Japan, production of the first generation Demio commenced in 1996 and the total domestic volume of all Demios/Mazda2s exceeded one million units by the end of September 2006.
The lively exterior design along with highly efficient packaging, enhanced quality interior and outstanding performance and safety helped these models gain a reputation ahead of other sub-compact cars. Mazda has scheduled production of the next B-car to begin in 2007.
Ford of Europe has confirmed that the move will not adversely affect the Valencia assembly plant, where volume will be maintained through higher production of existing models.