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Mazda: We won't be sharing new MPV platform with Ford

MAZDA has insisted that its stylish new MPV concept show at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit will not be a candidate for parallel production as a Ford when it begins coming off the line in the next few months. 'The car will be available in Europe and will come to Britain, but it has been designed as a Mazda.' said Mazda Motor Corporation product planning managing director Martin Leach.

'While people may well regard it as a potential replacement for the Galaxy, this is definitely not the case.' Based on the 626 platform, the car is due to be launched in the second half of the year and is expected to win total annual sales of up to 90,000.

'We've designed this car to promote Mazda brand values and it will be positioned against the Galaxy as well as other rivals like the Honda Shuttle. 'But, from a technical point of view, there's no reason why the platform couldn't spawn a Ford version,' he said.

Mazda North America president Richard Beattie said the concept was influenced by European style themes. 'It proves an MPV doesn't have to be a box on wheels. I think we've introduced sophistication to this area,' he said. With front and rear spoilers, side sills and chrome trim, the concept stands lower than most MPVs and has a customised look. Its third-row seat tucks neatly into the floor and each sliding side door has opening windows. Power comes from a 24-valve, 170bhp V6 engine driving the front wheels.

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