Production at Mazda’s Hofu factory in Japan's Yamaguchi prefecture has passed 10 million vehicles almost 31 years after the first model rolled off the line.

The 10 millionth car, a Mazda6, came off the final assembly line yesterday (27 August). If placed end-to-end, a line of 10m cars would stretch approximately 16,000 miles - all the way from Mazda's headquarters in Hiroshima to London and back again.

Masamichi Kogai, Mazda's Representative Director, President and CEO, said: ”We see this fantastic achievement not as a destination, but rather as a milestone on our road to further growth.”

Full-scale production at Hofu Plant No 1 started in September 1982. The Hofu Plant No 2 began operating in February 1992 with a flexible-production capability for vehicle bodies and modular assembly systems on a mixed-model assembly line to best respond to changes in consumer demand.

The two plants manufacture Mazda's two most popular models and have a combined annual production capacity of 482,100 units. Currently, Hofu Plant No 1 produces the all-new Mazda3 and Plant No 2 makes the Mazda6

History of Hofu Plant

Dec 1981:

Operations begin at Nakanoseki district transmission plant.

Sep 1982:

Full-scale vehicle production begins at Hofu Plant No. 1.

Apr 1986:

Vehicle production at Hofu Plant reaches one million units.

Feb 1992:

Vehicle production begins at Hofu Plant No. 2.

Jan 2002:

Vehicle production at Hofu Plant reaches five million units.

Feb 2002:

Production of first generation Mazda6 begins.

Jun 2003:

Production of first generation Mazda3 begins.

Aug 2007:

Production of second generation Mazda6 begins.

Nov 2008:

Production of second generation Mazda3 begins.

Dec 2010:

Transmission production at Hofu Plant reaches 30 million units.

Aug 2012:

Production of third generation Mazda6 begins.

Jun 2013:

Production of third generation Mazda3 begins.

Aug 2013:

Vehicle production at Hofu Plant reaches 10 million units.