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Mazda Holds Opening Ceremony for Mine Proving Ground

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HIROSHIMA, Japan, May 18, 2006—Mazda Motor Corporation held an opening ceremony today to mark the start of operations of its new vehicle testing ground—named the Mine Proving Ground—in Mine City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, in western Japan.


Distinguished guests from local government authorities, including the Deputy Governor of Yamaguchi Prefecture, Shigeji Wataya, and the Mayor of Mine (pronounced 'me-nay') City, Nobuo Kotake, attended the ceremony. Mazda President and CEO Hisakazu Imaki was also present, along with other senior Mazda executives.


"The Mine Proving Ground will play a very important role for Mazda in promoting the 'reinforcement of R&D,' one of the Mazda Momentum mid-term business plan's four key measures. It will function as another vehicle testing facility to complement the existing Miyoshi Proving Ground. After the Hofu plant, it is Mazda's second major business installation in the Yamaguchi area, which is what we are commemorating today with this opening ceremony. Mazda looks forward to the future growth and prosperity of Yamaguchi Prefecture, assisted by the contributions of these two business establishments," said Mazda CEO and President, Hisakazu Imaki, during his opening remarks.


Mazda has a manufacturing site in Hofu City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, consisting of two vehicle assembly plants and one transmission assembly plant. The Hofu plant complex is a core manufacturing site in the region, accounting for approximately 71 percent of Hofu City's, and roughly 13 percent of Yamaguchi Prefecture's, total value of manufactured goods shipped. The establishment of the Mine Proving Ground in Yamaguchi Prefecture reflects the increased importance of this area for Mazda Motor Corporation.

Outline of Mine Proving Ground
1.Location: 1173-1 Nagao, Nishiatsu-cho, Mine City, Yamaguchi Prefecture
2.Gross Area: 601,683m2
3. Current facilities
(1) Current facility
Total floor area: 6,128.91m2 (including all office buildings and other equipment on the land)
Test course: Driving course (3.3km), control tower, multipurpose driving course for vehicle testing
(2) Facility expansion plan
  Large turn: To evaluate vehicle turning performance
High-speed flats: To evaluate slalom performance
Mid-speed handling road: To evaluate handling performance based on European specifications