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Mazda to Increase Production of Popular Mazda3

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HIROSHIMA, Japan--Mazda3’s steady sales in overseas markets has prompted Mazda Motor Corporation to begin production of its award-winning compact at the Ujina Plant No.2 (U2) today. The additional Mazda3 assembly at the U2 plant, located near Mazda’s global headquarters, is projected to be two thousand units per month, and intended for the European, North American and Australian markets, where demand for the sporty compact is brisk. The Mazda3 (known in Japan as Axela) is already being produced at Mazda’s Hofu No.1 (H1) and No.2 (H2) plants in western Japan, where total production was 337,377 units in fiscal 2004.

Since its launch in October 2003, the Mazda3 has received accolades from consumers and media alike, winning over 50 awards worldwide. Strong sales continue in key markets: 76,079 Mazda3s sold in the U.S. in 2004, and from January through April 2005, U.S. Mazda3 sales were 31,722 units, up 32.0 percent over year-ago levels. Mazda3 was the top-selling passenger vehicle in Canada in April 2005 with sales of 7,120 units, and robust sales of the sporty compact are largely responsible for Mazda becoming Australia’s top-selling import brand year-to-date in 2005. Mazda sold a total of 22,641 vehicles in Australia from January to April 2005.

The U2 plant resumed operations in May 2004 on the strength of Mazda’s business recovery. Its world-class flexible production line can manufacture compact cars through to minivans, and with the introduction of the eco-friendly Three Layer Wet Paint System, the U2 plant plays a prominent role as one of Mazda’s most advanced production sites.

Masaharu Yamaki, Mazda’s managing executive officer in charge of production and business logistics said, “One of the best characteristics of Mazda’s flexible manufacturing system is that it can respond quickly to production increases such as with the Mazda3. The additional Mazda3 production at the U2 plant, in addition to the existing volume at Hofu No.1 and No.2 plants, not only showcases Mazda’s sophisticated production system, it also goes a long way to making sure that our customers around the world get the vehicle they want, when they want it.”