Ford, Mazda Parting Ways On Product Development?

Cammy Corrigan
by Cammy Corrigan

For most of the last 20 years, Ford and Mazda have enjoyed a symbiotic relationship which worked quite well. Ford needed Mazda’s engineering and Mazda needed Ford’s volume to keep their profit margins. In short, everyone was happy. Then came the recession. Ford needed money and it needed it fast, so they mortgaged their logo, cut staff and closed factories. But curiously, Ford divested a huge chunk of Mazda which netted them, in the auto world, very little money. Ford reduced their 33.4% stake in Mazda to 13.4%, netting $540 million, but effectively losing Mazda. Not that Ford’s Mark Fields is worried.

Bloomberg reports that everyone’s favourite wideboy is Ford-focused. “For a lot of designing and engineering, we’re going to be focused on Ford,” Mark Fields said, “Our efforts will be focused on the Ford system, as opposed to relying on others such as Mazda.”. In other words, we’re on our own.

Trouble is, it needn’t be like this. Mazda CEO, Takashi Yamanouchi, has left the door wide open for Ford. “Right now, it seems both companies are going their separate ways, but in the future there is the possibility of both coming together again,” Yamanouchi said. “We’re sure there will come a time when we will need each other’s technology.”. In other words, we welcome Ford’s help. And they’re not the only people who know that.

“The reality is Mazda is too small to do it on their own,” said Aaron Bragman, auto analyst for IHS Global Insight, “Ford may have other options. They’ve got a European organization that is very good at developing small cars.” In other words, Mazda might want to start looking around for another partner.

Cammy Corrigan
Cammy Corrigan

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  • Jeventures Jeventures on Dec 04, 2009

    There sure seems to be a lot of "he said she said" about which company made the true value add to the cars we love. Whatever the case, it sure as hell worked wonders for the Ford Ranger and Mazda3 in my garage.

    • Robert.Walter Robert.Walter on Dec 04, 2009

      Which Ranger, the Ford-based one, or the Mazda-based one? If it was produced in MN, or S.America, it's pure-Ford, if produced in Thailand, it's Mazda-based with Ford tweaking.

  • Eamiller Eamiller on Dec 05, 2009

    For what it is worth, the 2012 Fusion/Milan/MKZ will no longer be based on the Mazda platform, but will be moving to the EUCD platform (Mondeo), specifically it will be the CD4 platform. It also seems that the US introduction of the refreshed CD4 platform will be 6-9 months earlier than the Mondeo (which will technically be 2012.5)

  • Carfan94 Never, it doesn’t get cold eneough here in TN, to switch to winter tires. But it gets cold enough that running Summer tires year round is impractical. I’m happy with my All seasons
  • Analoggrotto Anyone who has spent more than 15 minutes around a mustang owner would know this will be in insta-hit.
  • Akear If this is true then they won't go out of business. Good for them!
  • FreedMike Interesting time capsule.
  • 6-speed Pomodoro I had summer and winter tires for a car years ago. What a pain in the butt. You've permanently got a stack of tires hogging space in the garage and you've got to swap them yourself twice a year, because you can't fit a spare set of tires in a sportscar to pay someone else to swap 'em.I'd rather just put DWS06's on everything. But I haven't had a sportscar in 8 years, so maybe that's a terrible idea.