Mazda Motor Corp. has sold its equity stake in South Korean car manufacturer Kia Motors Co., sources close to Mazda said (4/7/00).

Mazda, an affiliate of Ford, acquired a 7.33%, equity stake in Kia for 13.3 billion yen back in 1983. A further 9.17% was bought by Ford in 1986.

But with Kia coming under court protection from creditors in April 1998 due to the economic crisis within South Korea, Ford withdrew its capital from Kia later in the year. By May, Mazda followed suit by selling all its shares on the market, according to sources.

Mazda is now expected to promote a link-up with South Korea`s second largest automaker Daewoo Motor Co..