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Mazda to Increase MZR Engine Production to 705,000 Units

- Production increase of 1.8L/2.3L MZR engines needed for Spring 2006 launch of Mazda CX-7 and All-New MPV -

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HIROSHIMA, Japan--Due to increased global demand for its models with MZR engines of 1.8 or 2.3-liter displacement, Mazda Motor Corporation has plans to raise production capacity at its head office plant in Hiroshima. In May 2005, MZR engine production figures stood at 537,000 units produced per annum, and this has subsequently been raised to 650,000 units. With positive Mazda momentum creating more demand, production of the MZR engine will be further increased in January 2006 to 705,000 units per annum.

Starting with the sales launch of the Mazda6 in May 2005, the MZR has become the mainstay engine of vehicles like the Mazda3, Mazda5 and MX-5 Roadster, powering roughly 75 percent of Mazda vehicles made in Japan. Additionally, in August 2005, Mazda introduced the high power and eco-friendly MZR DISI Turbo, a direct injection gasoline engine linked with an intercooler and mounted on the Mazdaspeed Mazda6.

This increase in engine production capacity has become necessary to respond to the strong sales of Mazda3 and MX-5 Roadsters in Europe and North America. At the same time, Mazda is aligning its engine production and supply with a view to the U.S. launch of the CX-7 SUV Crossover, scheduled for Spring 2006, along with the Japan launch of the All-New MPV in February 2006.

"Strong sales of the Mazda3 mean that Mazda has to increase production to try and meet demand and, with more new generation models coming, expanded production capacity for the MZR engine allows Mazda to respond in a flexible way," said Masaharu Yamaki, managing executive officer in charge of production and business logistics at Mazda. "The MZR engine is one of the most important powertrains in the Mazda lineup, and puts the Zoom-Zoom into many of our cars. I want to continue providing our customers with attractive cars that make them feel they have something special, something delightful, when they get a Mazda vehicle," he added.