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SPAIN: Ford Valencia plant drops Mazda2

By just-auto.com editorial team | 1 December 2006

Mazda will cease production of the Mazda2 in Spain next year when it launches a replacement model. That model will be built exclusively in Japan.

"Currently production of the Mazda2 (known as the Demio in Japan) exists in Valencia, Spain and Hiroshima, Japan. Our intention is to consolidate production of the next B-car into one location in order to maximise the economies of scale and efficiencies that this would offer. After assessing all risks and opportunities, including exchange exposure and Asia's growth potential, it made sense to select Japan as the location," said Mr Hisakazu Imaki, Representative Director and Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of Mazda Motor Corporation.

"We made the decision to relocate to Hiroshima and consolidate the assembly of the next B-car in consultation with our partner, Ford Motor Company," states Mr Imaki, "Mazda continues to be an important partner of Ford Motor Company, and our relationship is integral to our global automotive strategy. We will continue to pursue synergies wherever we can."

At the Valencia plant, over 143,000 Mazda2s have been built since production began in 2003.

Ford of Europe has confirmed that the move will not adversely affect the Valencia assembly plant, where volume will be maintained through higher production of existing models.

Some 36,000 units of the Mazda2, also sold as the Demio, were produced at Ford's plant in Valencia, Spain in 2005. Mazda production accounted for around nine percent of the output at the plant in 2005, and has fallen to around seven percent this year. Capacity at the plant, which builds the Ka, Fiesta 5-door  and Focus 4 and 5-door, is around 400,000 units.

Speaking at the Paris motor show in September, FoE President and CEO John Fleming acknowledged that Mazda was then close to deciding that the 2007 Mazda2 might not be built in Valencia, but he said, "We can absorb that change. We can't make enough Fiestas today. We can't make enough Transits."

The Mazda2 replacement will be built at Mazda's Ujina plant in Hiroshima, alongside other Mazda B-segment cars.