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Old 08-27-2004, 08:49   #1 (permalink)
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Japan:Mazda may raise Mazda3/Axela output further

Mazda may raise Mazda3/Axela output further

Reuters

HIROSHIMA, Japan - Mazda Motor Corp. may further boost output of the hot-selling Mazda3/Axela compact car by adding production of the model at a reopened domestic assembly plant, the Japanese automaker said on Friday.

The sporty compact car is in short supply all over the world, especially in Europe and the United States, and Mazda said in May that it would increase output from next month.

That would bring production to 320,000 units from 250,000, but Mazda said that still wasn't enough to satisfy orders.

Mazda, owned one-third by Ford Motor Co., said it was considering adding the model at its Ujina 2 plant in Hiroshima, which reopened in May after what was meant to be a permanent closure in September 2001.

The plant, called U2 inside Mazda, now builds the Mazda2/Demio subcompact, but it has been redesigned to be more flexible to allow production of a wide range of models, including minivans.

It can build 236,000 cars a year, but utilization is still only a few percent of capacity, Mazda said.

It said the state-of-the-art U2 plant also would build the new Mazda5 minivan, which will be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show next month.
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