Mazda is ramping up production of its CX-5 crossover SUV and doubling output of the SkyActive engines launched with it.

The carmaker said it would increase CX-5 capacity from 200,000 units to 240,000 units a year, the second increase since launch earlier this year.

This will be achieved by expanding production from Ujina Plant No.2 to include Ujina Plant No.1. Upgrades to the assembly line are based on a company manufacturing system called Monotsukuri Innovation and will enable production at Ujina 1 earlier than anticipated.

The move is in response to increasing worldwide demand for the CX-5 which competes with the likes of Nissan's successful Qashqai/Dualis. The CX-5 was the first to get full SkyActive technology when sales started last February (a smaller engine was launched when the Demio (2) was facelifted for Japan last year) and orders have passed initial estimates of around 160,000 a year.

By 1 July, CX-5 orders in Japan had reached approximately 24,000 units, more than doubling the annual domestic sales target in only four and a half months.

The car is also proving popular overseas. In Russia, the automaker's biggest market in Europe, orders already exceed 10,000 units, not far off the annual sales target of 12,000.

Mazda will also double capacity at its engine plant in Hiroshima from 400,000 units to 800,000 units a year in October. The plant produces the SkyActive diesel and petrol engines.

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