HIROSHIMA, Japan—Mazda Motor Corporation has announced that cumulative production of vehicle transmissions in the Nakanoseki district of its Hofu plant in Yamaguchi Prefecture has reached 25 million units. In addition to this achievement, Mazda has also announced that it plans to increase the annual production capacity of automatic transmissions for front-wheel-drive models from 655,000 to 764,000 units in response to steady global demand for the Mazda Axela (known overseas as the Mazda3) and the Premacy (Mazda5). The 25 million unit milestone was achieved in the 24 years and 9 months since the Hofu plant began production in December 1981.
The Nakanoseki district of the Hofu plant started producing automatic transmissions for the Ford Motor Company in December 1981, and in September 1982, production of manual transmissions for Mazda commenced. Of the total 25 million transmissions produced in the plant, 12 million units were for Ford and 13 million units were made for Mazda.
Mazda held a ceremony at the Nakanoseki plant today to mark the new production milestone. In attendance was Masaharu Yamaki, Mazda's senior managing executive officer in charge of production and logistics. In a speech, he said, "I am proud of your efforts, the cooperative spirit and resourcefulness everyone at the Hofu plant has employed over the years which has led to this remarkable achievement of 25 million transmissions produced. I would also like to thank all of the people with a connection to the Hofu plant, whose support each and every day has made this possible."
"In October 2006, we will increase the production capacity of automatic transmissions for front-wheel-drive models from 655,000 to 764,000 units per year. Mazda cannot be complacent or accept the status quo, and we will continue to improve the Nakanoseki plant, striving to make it the best plant in the Mazda group, if not the world," Yamaki added.
After production of automotive parts began at the Nakanoseki plant in 1981, another plant, now called Hofu Plant No.1, was built in the Nishinoura district in 1982 for vehicle production. Hofu Plant No.2 was added in the Nishinoura district in 1992, also for vehicle production.
Designed with a "people-friendly plant" concept, it aims to exist in harmony with the local community and the environment, and to offer pleasant working conditions for the plant's staff. In July 2006, the cumulative vehicle production at the Nishinoura district of the Hofu plant topped seven million units. The plant continues to manufacture the popular Mazda Axela (Mazda3) and Atenza (Mazda6) models at full capacity.