Mazda Motor Corporation will resume painting production vehicles on April 27 in the Ujina No. 1 plant (U1) paint shop, which suspended operations after a fire in December 2004. Beginning with the Demio/2, painting of other models will be sequentially restarted in May and June.

An eco-friendly three layer wet paint system will be introduced to the refurbished U1 paint shop. This advanced painting technology - developed by the automaker is claimed to achieve quality improvements, reduce the environmental impact of volatile organic compound (VOC) use and lower energy consumption (CO2 emissions). It has already been introduced to the Hofu No.1, No.2 and Ujina No.2 (U2) plants and it adoption at the U1 line completes its introduction to all production facilities in Japan.

Reduced construction time for the damaged building and production equipment was achieved with a module-based construction method. A full restoration of the paint shop was accomplished about four months after the fire to restart integrated production at the U1 plant.

A build up of static electricity is the leading suspect for the fire. A safety plan for the paint shop is being implemented based on the recommendations of relevant safety authorities, involving small paint stirring devices to be used inside paint booths.