Mazda Motor Corp. said Friday it will consolidate its 37 local wholesale subsidiaries for minicars into one by the end of this year as part of its restructuring drive.
While the 37 subsidiaries have a combined workforce of about 230, the automaker plans to cut that number by 140 mainly through an early retirement program.

Mazda said it expects the consolidation of operations to result in an annual cost cut of 2 billion yen.

Currently, one of the 37 subsidiaries, which is located at Mazda’s corporate headquarters in Hiroshima Prefecture, prepares nationwide marketing strategies for minicars, while the remaining 36 across Japan devise local strategies.

The merged subsidiary, Autozam Inc., will begin operating next January.