By on November 30, 2010

Mazda has barely thrown off the shackles of Ford, but the Japanese already make their new freedom felt. In a way that won’t make Ford happy.

Mazda and their new largest shareholder Sumitomo will spend anywhere between $350m and $475m, and will open a plant in Mexico that will start making lots of little Mazdas as early as 2013. According to The Nikkei [sub], Mazda will build its bread & butter Mazda2 and Mazda3 models in Mexico. They will not be shipped north. The cars are destined for the Mexican, Brazilian, and other Central and South American markets. Mazda will initially make some 100,000 units there, later more. An engine plant is also in the cards.

This marks a series of firsts for Mazda.

  • It is Mazda’s first new overseas production base since they opened a plant in Thailand in 1998.
  • All previous plants, in the U.S., China and Thailand, had been run jointly with Ford.
  • Mazda will hold a majority stake in the operating company — something it has never done before. Sumitomo will lend a hand in the management.

Mazda will also be treading on an in-house Monroe doctrine somewhere at Ford, and will be interfering with growth markets in the Southern Hemisphere. That will cause joy in Dearborn.

Mazda has big plans down south. They sold some 50,000 cars in the region last year, only 4.5 percent of global sales. The company wants to sell 1.7 million units worldwide in 2015, up 30 percent from now. A lot of this growth is expected from South America.

Why Mexico? Mexico has an economic partnership with Mercosur, a full customs union between Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. Like its European counterpart, Mercosur is expanding. Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru are associate members. Even Israel and Egypt joined. A plant in Mexico lowers customs barriers to these countries.

What’s more, tariffs on autoparts exported from Japan to Mexico will disappear in 2014 under a bilateral economic partnership agreement. Japanese manufacturers such as Toyota, Nissan, and Honda, which already are in Mexico, will be able to further lower their cost there.

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11 Comments on “Mazda On Mexican Trip...”


  • avatar
    KitaIkki

    Mexico is also part of NAFTA, so Mazda could eventually export from there to US and Canada

  • avatar
    AaronH

    Slow News day?

    • 0 avatar

      Sure is.

      Any interest in:

      “Maruti Suzuki Executive: Developing New Diesel Engine For Mid-sized Sedans”
      “Hino Motors Says New Hybrid System Boosts Truck Mileage 50%”

      Or maybe this humdinger:

      “Car Transport Sailing Back Into Black At Shipping Firms”

  • avatar
    Abraxas

    Maruti Isn’t Involved In Suzuki-Volkswagen Talks – Suzuki Chairman ( http://e.nikkei.com/e/fr/tnks/Nni20101130D30JF281.htm ) . Is VW planning to increase its stake in Suzuki soon ?

  • avatar
    OldandSlow

    A smart move on Mazda’s part. Mazda needs to grow overseas and this is an available destination that is worth pursuing.

  • avatar
    jems86

    Well, this is kind of strange. I read somewhere in the news that mazda was thinking about using the existing Colombian plant in Bogotá. Currently the plant assembles the mazda2 hatchback, the old mazda3 and the BT50 pickup. Considering Colombia has almost the same partnerships as mexico does (except Nafta), wouldn´t it be easier using this plant?

  • avatar
    Abraxas

    New Audi A6 revealed !   http://www.autoblog.nl/archive/2010/11/30/primeur-de-nieuwe-audi-a6?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

  • avatar
    slavuta

    Once that “J” disappears from the first position of the VIN on Mazda3 – the one I have now will be the last Mazda3 in my garage. Once I know that engine is made in Mexico – same thing. I am not buying Mexican-made cars, period.

    • 0 avatar
      ash78

      Sounds like the rallying cry of so many domestic fanbois, plus numerous VW aficionados. These days, the end result is rarely much different than the versions from the manufacturer’s home country. Golf/Jetta and Fusion come to mind.
       
      (I assume you’re in Latin America and not the US; otherwise this change won’t affect you at all)

  • avatar
    fredtal

    Guess Ford thougt Mazda wasn’t going to be much competition for them. 

  • avatar
    Beelzebubba

    I don’t doubt Mazda’s plans for expanding their market share into the Mexican and Central/South American market.  But the Mazda3 is their best seller in the U.S and THE best seller in Canada.  Manufacturing all of those cars in Hiroshima and shipping them across the Pacific ain’t cheap (110k+ will be sold in U.S. alone this year).  Perhaps they will build a facility in the U.S. or Canada to source our cars?


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