Mazda
Motor Corporation, owned 33 percent by Ford, has opened a new mid-sized engine
plant in Hiroshima to renew its engine range as part of its co-operation with
Ford, Bloomberg News reported.

The news organisation said that the new engine plant can make 425,000 units
a year and will start operation by the end of next March.

“We are renewing all of our engines, including the mid-sized and the small
engines,” Mazda Managing Director Fumiaki Inami told Bloomberg News at
a press conference in Hiroshima. “Engines are the most profitable business
for Japanese automakers.”

Bloomberg News said that Mazda and Ford are planning to build models at each
other’s plants by sharing engines and platforms to cut costs and increase market
share amid consolidation in the global car industry.

Ford is also working with Mazda to introduce new models, including a replacement
for the three-year old Familia/323 and five-year old Demio compact cars, Bloomberg
News added.

According to Bloomberg News, earlier this month Mazda closed the No. 2 line
at its Ujina plant, which made 266,000 vehicles a year, and shifted production
of cars made there to Ujina’s No. 1 line and the No. 1 line at its Hofu plant.

The I4 engine range made at the new Hiroshima plant will account for about
26 percent of the Ford group’s engines, and will be produced in three sizes:
1.8-litre, 2.0-litre and 2.3-litre, Bloomberg News said.

The news organisation cited Maza MD Inami as saying that the new engine will
cut costs by 10 percent, compared with the same-sized engines it has at present.
Part of those savings will come from reducing the number of mid-sized engines
from 15 to three.

Bloomberg News said that Ford and Mazda will build two million mid-sized I4
engines a year at four factories around the world – Hiroshima, Mexico,
Dearborn, USA and Valencia, Spain. Valencia will start production next year.

The I4 engine will be used in vehicles made by Mazda, Ford, Volvo and Land
Rover, Bloomberg News said. The motor will be installed in Mazda’s next mid-sized
626/Capella car line.

Bloomberg News also said that the new Hiroshima engine plant will be able to
make all-aluminum motors, which will cost 40 percent less than cast-iron units.
It will also have production technology for Formula One racing engines to make
them more fuel-efficient, lighter and stronger.













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