Mazda and Ford plan to export vehicles for disabled users and are currently considering shipping Demio-based models to Ford Australia.

Mazda has considerable knowledge of this specialist sector and first introduced a model called the Sangyo for disabled drivers in 1995.

Mazda's know-how will be used to jointly develop platforms for the next generation of vehicles that take account of modifications required by handicapped users.

The Japanese arm of Ford will propose ideas in the development stage - such as allowing sufficient space for front seats to rotate - so that assembly of vehicles for the disabled can take place alongside regular production models on high-volume lines.

Mazda also intends to expand its business in this field by supplying parts for modifying existing vehicles to Ford.