By on November 17, 2010

Mazda is passing the hat around to collect the money to buy out most of Ford’s remaining share, and what looks like half of Japan is chipping in. As many as 10 firms will purchase the Mazda shares that are still held by Ford, says The Nikkei [sub]. Ford plans to cut its 11 percent stake in Mazda to a symbolic 3 percent.

The future Mazda stockholders run the gamut of the Japanese industry:  Itochu Corp., Kajima Corp., Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd., and Sumitomo Metal Industries Ltd. will make their contributions. Several Mazda suppliers are also among the likely buyers. The biggest buy will be made by Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. and Sumitomo Corp. There will be no new stockholders, all buyers are existing shareholders that will round out their Mazda holdings.

Ford once owned 33.4 percent of Mazda. They reduced their holdings to 13 percent in 2008, when money was tight. That stake was further diluted to about 11 percent by Mazda issuing shares.

The stock sale is expected to become official on Thursday. Once it is completed, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking will become Mazda’s top shareholder, with a stake of only 4 percent. Ford’s 11 percent share is valued at around $500m. See, if we would make a collection at TTAC, we could easily end up as Mazda’s biggest shareholder. Anybody got $250m?

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24 Comments on “Ford And Mazda To Sign Divorce Papers Tomorrow...”


  • avatar
    OldandSlow

    It sounds like a hometown family affair. I do wish Mazda well.
     
    How big a player are they in the JDM?

  • avatar
    Strippo

    If we can get a compact RWD sedan out of the deal, count me in. Mazda already owns the reasonably-priced lightweight RWD niche, so why not leverage it? Or a truly compact pickup, even?
    Yeah, I’m dreaming.

  • avatar
    basho

    Not sure how long Mazda can live on it’s own.  It’s biggest selling product is going to be knee capped by the New Focus, Cruze and Elantra.  The rest of their products are so low volume they will not be able to stay viable.  I’ve owned a few Mazdas (2005 RX8 Shinka and 2007 Mazdaspeed3) and had mixed experiences with them.  The RX8 was fun to drive in a way that is nearly useless in Michigan but it never had to go to the dealer in the 18 mos I owned it.  The Mazdaspeed3 was fun in all the ways that can be experienced in Michigan, but the car was at the dealership 6 times in 12 mos.  Dealer bought it back with an undiagnosed engine issue.

    Mazda needed Ford far more than Ford needed Mazda.  For Mazda to survive, they will need to get remarried soon.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      Agreed. I question what Mazda brings to the table in a future tie-up. They have nothing unique in engines or platforms that other manufacturers need.

    • 0 avatar
      HalfMast

      If you look at the history of the companies, though, Ford has used Mazda consistantly to provide a mid-size segment entry.  The first Fusion was a design mod of the Mazda6.  Earlier mid-sized were based of the 626 and Protege, and they’ve constantly traded engines.  Since they’ve cut the Tribute and B100 out of the line-up, Mazda’s only got the CX-9/Edge as a platform mate.  They’ve clearly been parting ways for a while, but I think Ford wouldn’t be where they are now without Mazda’s help. 

      Mazda is fairly healthy as a “niche” brand.  Both companies will do fine for the short term, at least, but I think they are both losing out on future opportunity by parting ways.

    • 0 avatar
      PaulieWalnut

      The next Mid-Size Ford will be based on the current Ford Mondeo. It’s a good car by all accounts and is slightly bigger than the current Ford Fusion.

    • 0 avatar
      OldandSlow

      @ Half-mast:  By modifying the 90′s 626 platform, Ford was able to bring out the Escape in 01, three years before GM brought out the Equinox.  Before this Honda and Toyota basically had the front wheel drive CUV market to themselves.
       
      Unfortunately, both the Escape and Focus were launched at the end of the Jac Nassar Era. His team cut costs by cutting quality, so that both vehicles suffered numerous recalls and TSB fixes during their first two years on the market.
       
      Ford NA acquired the rights to manufacture Mazda’s MZR 4 cylinder design through cost sharing on the development of the Mazda 6 and allowing Mazda benefit from the second generation European Focus.  Sharing development costs benefited both Ford and Mazda.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    I need to wait this out for one year.
    I have heard small rumors about the significance of these new SKY engines and am excited to see what they are.
    All the competition mentioned for the Mazda3 are NEW entries.
    I am very certain the next generation and series from Mazda to pass these up.
    It’s a lot of leapfrogging here.

    • 0 avatar
      basho

      But remember the Mazda 3 is a Euro-Focus in disguise.  The only reason the Mazda 3 became a class leader was the NA Focus was not updated to the newer gen C170 from Europe and the Mazda 3 was.  Now the NA Focus is built on the latest gen C170 from Europe.  Unless Mazda builds a completely new platform for the Mazda3 on it’s own, it will be built off the same shared platform as the 2012 Focus.  It will no longer have any advantage over the Focus like it enjoys right now.

      I think with the predicted growth of Hyundai-Kia in the next 10 years…Mazda will fade into the night.  There just won’t be enough market to share between so many brands without corporate tie-ups to fund vehicle development.  Yeah, Mazda has SKY engines coming… but power train development is cheap compared to clean sheet vehicle development.  I doubt Ford will be paying for shared platform development with Mazda anymore.  If anything they will be stuck doing generational updates on old platforms just to have new product. 

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      basho

      Not sure if you are correct.
      I believe the Focus was a borrowed 3.
      Both took needed tech from eah other and spread throughout their line ups.
      Mazda took engines information.
      Ford took chassis tech.
      The Forus and Volvo  40 are 3 tech while the Fusion, Edge are 6 tech.
      CX9, MKS, Taurus and Flex are all Volvo chassis.

    • 0 avatar
      basho

      You are correct, the CD3 (Fusion platform) was used by Mazda first in the Mazda 6.  The C170 (Focus) is a Ford Europe platform used by Ford first then Mazda in the Mazda 3.  The CX9 is not on the Volve D platform, it is on an extended version of the CD3/4 platform the Edge is built on (which is a converted CD3 platform the Fusion/Mazda 6 use).  The MKS/Taurus/Flex/2012 Explorer/MKT are all built on the Volvo D platform.  The Fiesta is a Ford Europe B platform that the Mazda 2 uses.
      Ford supplies far more shared platforms than Mazda does.  And one can argue that the only reason Mazda had a platform at all is Ford paid for it.  We’ll see what Mazda can do on it’s own in the next 5 years.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    I wish Mazda well.  I owned a 1997 Ford Escort LX Wagon once and though I loved that little car, the best parts were Mazda engineered. Heck that car is the only reason I pause and stare when I see an old Protege 5 for sale.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      Yep, those Mazda Escorts were great cars, got 200k out of mine and it was still going strong.  But Ford needs get its debt down, and  they seem to have very strong product coming out of Europe, so I don’t see them needing Mazda like they did 10 years ago.   I think dumping Mazda is a smart move at this point.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Mazda doesn’t have anything near the scale required to be a mid-market player in the years ahead. Ford saved their bacon once before, but now has no interest in doing so again. They are likely to either go the route of Isuzu or Volvo. Oblivion, or Chinese.
     

  • avatar
    basho

    You are correct, the CD3 (Fusion platform) was used by Mazda first in the Mazda 6.  The C170 (Focus) is a Ford Europe platform used by Ford first then Mazda in the Mazda 3.  The CX9 is not on the Volve D platform, it is on an extended version of the CD3/4 platform the Edge is built on (which is a converted CD3 platform the Fusion/Mazda 6 use).  The MKS/Taurus/Flex/2012 Explorer/MKT are all built on the Volvo D platform.  The Fiesta is a Ford Europe B platform that the Mazda 2 uses.

    Ford supplies far more shared platforms than Mazda does.  And one can argue that the only reason Mazda had a platform at all is Ford paid for it.  We’ll see what Mazda can do on it’s own in the next 5 years.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      >>“You are correct, the CD3 (Fusion platform) was used by Mazda first in the Mazda 6.  The C170 (Focus) is a Ford Europe platform used by Ford first then Mazda in the Mazda 3.”<<
       
      I guess you had better edit WIKI, their entry states Mazda developed the platform used by Ford for the Fusion:
      “The Ford CD3 platform (for “C/D-class“) is a Ford global midsize car automobile platform. It was designed by Mazda. The original Mazda chassis code for the CD3 platform is Mazda G platform, which Ford Motor Company has used every evolution of since 1983.”
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_CD3_platform

  • avatar
    Rusted Source

    I believe in Canada, the Mazda3 is poised to unseat the Civic as the number one selling car in Canada.  Mazda Canada is also expecting a lot of sales from the new Mazda2 especially in Quebec.

    Perhaps the picture isn’t as rosy in the States, but in other parts of the world I think Mazda is doing well.

  • avatar
    Abraxas

    In 2011 VW Group and Suzuki will buy a controlling stake in Mazda ( 33.4 % ) or Suzuki will merge with Mazda . Suzuki and Mazda have a complementary line-up of products and complementary markets . They also have many common japanese shareholders . Any of these two scenarios would make Ferdinand Karl Piëch ( http://www.automobilemag.com/features/awards/1101_2011_man_of_the_year_ferdinand_piech/index.html ) a very happy man .

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      I actually like that idea too.  Suzuki was a pretty sporty car company before they walked through the wrong dark alley that one drunken night in college and GM lunged out of the shadows at them.
       
      Two former jilted Japanese lovers who hooked up with American car companies.  It’s almost poetic.

  • avatar

    Am I the only person who sees the irony in the photo?  Panther love uber alles, yo.

  • avatar
    niky

    I have faith that Mazda will pull through. A joint venture with Suzuki would be good, as they can provide platforms for Suzy’s bigger cars and they and Suzy can share the small car market… IMHO, the Mazda2 is a significantly better car than the Suzuki Swift.
    -
    It’s a sad end to a good partnership… but maybe it just had to be. Working with Ford’s platforms has made most larger Mazdas obscenely heavy. Not quite as heavy as their Ford counterparts, but what they’ve had to cut out to achieve weight savings was stuff that’s noticeable to the buyer… which can’t have helped sales.
    I feel sorry for Mazda that the new 2 has not garnered the huge response that the Fiesta has… because, after having driven both back to back… Mazda has it right. Simplification. Lightening. The Mazda2 gives up very little in refinement to the Fiesta (which is arguably the most refined in its class), yet gains so much in terms of spriteliness and performance by going with smaller engines and a lighter curb weight. Wouldn’t be surprised if you could eke out better fuel economy in the city, as well.


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