Mazda appears to be neither confirming nor denying a Japanese newspaper report that its No. 2 Ujina factory in Hiroshima would be reopened to back up others running at high capacity.

According to Reuters, a Mazda spokesman said no decision had been made on the plant – shut during restructuring in September 2001 – which the Nihon Keizai Shimbun said would build 200,000 cars a year from next year.

“It is true that we are studying various options regarding the output capacity of our plants, but we will likely not be announcing any decision on that until around our first-half earnings announcement (in November) Mazda spokesman Hideo Azuma told Reuters.

According to Reuters, the paper said Mazda plans to produce a redesigned Familia/323 line for sale from the second half of 2003 at Ujina plant for both domestic and export markets.

The paper added that Mazda would export the car to Europe instead of producing it there as originally planned, Reuters said.

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Reuters also cited the paper as saying Mazda plans to move production of the Bongo (E-series) line to Ujina plant from the Fuchu plant in Hiroshima and also shift some Demio/2 output to Ujina as well due to strong sales.

Just-auto expects the new Familia to be renamed for most export markets – the 626 became the 6 and the recently redesigned Demio, which has sold well above target in its first months on sale in Japan, is now called the 2.