HIROSHIMA, Japan--In early March 2006, Mazda Motor Corporation will establish its second vehicle test track in Mine City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, to complement its Miyoshi Proving Ground facility. Mazda will acquire the land and buildings from CQ Motors Corporation of Tokyo, which decided to withdraw from the race circuit business and will close its Mine (pronounced 'me-nay') Circuit at the end of February 2006.
To provide its customers with products that have even more Zoom-Zoom qualities, Mazda has opted to acquire this second test track to eventually develop facilities that are currently unavailable at the Miyoshi testing ground, such as a large turn, and a section that resembles a high speed European motorway. The Mine Circuit's existing course will continue to be used by Mazda after it obtains control, with future plans for the staged installation of a large turn, a high speed straight, and a high speed hill climb section added to the circuit's facilities.
The Miyoshi Proving Ground will maintain its current role as the main test track for Mazda's new product performance testing and development. The new facility--to be named the Mine Proving Ground--will be used as an R&D center to complement vehicle development being conducted at Miyoshi, such as vehicle performance testing or quantitative data acquisition for the evaluation of driveability. Additionally, to promote interaction with the local community, there are plans for the Mine facility to be opened to the general public on public holidays for tours, as well as used for 'safe driving' courses.
Seita Kanai, Mazda's managing executive officer in charge of R&D, said, "Paired with the Miyoshi Proving Ground, the new Mine Proving Ground will be a great infrastructure improvement for Mazda, enabling us to develop high quality products more efficiently than ever before. We want to continue offering our customers the kind of Zoom-Zoom products that completely satisfy their driving expectations."
Mazda established Hokkaido's Kenbuchi Proving Ground in January 1990, along with the Nakasatsunai Proving Ground in January 2002, exclusively for cold weather product testing and development.