The automobile market continues to flourish all over the world, making Chinese and Indian markets hotspots for new car sales. The Central and South American markets are added to the growing list, and in order to keep up, Mazda, in joint force with Sumitomo Corporation, is heading south. Mexico will be home to a new plant, while a sales company will launch in Brazil.
The Mazda2 and Mazda3 models, along with engines, will be assembled at a $500 million facility in Salamanca City, in the state of Guanajuato—some 155 miles northwest of Mexico City. Operation is scheduled to start in April of 2013, and by the end of the fiscal year in the state in March 2014, annual production is expected at 140,000 units.
Before any Mazda2 or Mazda3 even hit the production line in Mexican facility, the Brazilian sales company, based in Sao Paulo, will open for business in April 2012 and sell vehicles imported from Japan. Once assembly operations are fully up to speed, Mexican-built vehicles will also be exported for sale in Brazil, as well.
Mazdas in Brazil? Apparently the automaker had been absent from the 4th largest auto market in the world, but no longer. Mazda announced today that it and Sumitomo are also partnering on a Brazilian sales and distribution network, of which the automaker retains a 70-percent stake. Vehicle demand has doubled between 2005 and 2010, so it's no surprise Mazda is hungry for a piece of that action.
Could this plant produce vehicles for the U.S? At this point, Mazda says no, although there have long been rumblings the automaker is looking for a way to build high-volume products like the 3 in Mexico instead of importing from Japan.
Source: Mazda, Reuters