October 10, 2007

Mazda/Ford Alliance announces new Thailand auto plant

Hiroshima, Japan – Mazda Motor Corporation and Ford Motor Company have announced plans to build a new passenger car plant at AutoAlliance Thailand, their joint venture manufacturing plant, to produce B-car segment small passenger cars for both companies. Production at the new plant will commence in 2009; the total investment of more than US$500 million for construction is expected to be split evenly between the two.

To maximize efficiency and flexibility, the new plant will feature an integrated production line, from stamping through to final assembly. A new Three Layer Wet Paint system, invented by Mazda, will be introduced as a space-saving measure; the system also dramatically reduces emissions and waste, and improves paint quality.

The new plant’s production capacity is projected at 100,000 units per year; combined with the existing pickup plant, AutoAlliance Thailand’s capacity will expand to 275,000 units from its current 175,000 units annually, including complete knock-down kits. The cars will be sold in Thailand and exported to other Southeast Asian nations.

As part of its contributions to the local economy, AutoAlliance Thailand currently purchases about 90 percent of its components from Thai-based suppliers, and will increase its local sourcing with the new plant. It is expected that an additional 2,000 employees will be hired to work at the new facility.

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