JAPAN: Mazda mulls 3/Axela production boost at second plant
Mazda may further boost output of the hot-selling 3/Axela compact car by adding production of the model at a reopened Japanese assembly plant, the Ford-controlled automaker reportedly said on Friday.
Reuters noted that the sporty compact car is in short supply all over the world, especially in Europe and the United States. Mazda reportedly said in May that it would increase output from next month, which would bring production to 320,000 units from 250,000, but now said that still wasn't enough to satisfy orders.
Mazda, owned one-third by Ford, reportedly said it was considering adding the model at its Ujina 2 plant in Hiroshima, which reopened in May after what was meant to be a permanent closure in September 2001.
The plant, called U2 inside Mazda, now builds the 2/Demio subcompact, but it has been redesigned to be more flexible to allow production of a wide range of models, including minivans, according to Reuters. It can build 236,000 cars a year, but utilisation is still only a few percent of capacity.
Mazda said the state-of-the-art U2 plant would also build the new 5 minivan, which will be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show next month, Reuters added.