Fleet News

Mazda shifts production to Europe

MAZDA will shift production of its smaller vehicles from Japan to Europe in 2003. The company - which is 34% owned by Ford - has been hurt by the weakness of the Euro against the Yen and is expected to build 323 and Demio models at Ford plants either in Germany or Belgium.

But Mazda has not yet announced details on which plant will be used, or which models it will build. The company has carried out production partnerships with Ford in the past - the Mazda 121, on sale until this year, was based on the Fiesta and assembled at Dagenham. In an announcement on Friday, Mazda said European production would replace production on 60,000-80,000 compact vehicles in Japan. The announcement came as the company revealed operating losses of 4.7 billion Yen (£30 million) for the six months to September 30.

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