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Old 02-01-2002, 10:42   #1 (permalink)
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Mazda Commences Production of New I4 Engines

Mazda Motor Corporation commenced production of the newly developed I4 engines today at the company's new engine plant (Minami-ward, Hiroshima-city). The newly developed engines are all aluminum gasoline In-line 4-cilinder engines, with 1.8-liter, 2.0-liter, and 2.3-liter engine displacements.

Prior to commencement of the production, a ceremony was held at the plant just after 8:00am. Four Mazda directors, including Mr. Imaki and Mr. Kado, along with approximately 200 employees were present, to celebrate the start of the new production.

In his speech, Mr. Imaki commented, "This new I4 engine was developed with Mazda taking the lead role, being designated as the 'Center of Excellence' in the Ford Group for its highly recognized engineering. This plant that will produce the new engines, with various ideas incorporated by everyone, has realized high quality and high efficiency, and is now the factory attracting the most attention in the Ford group. I would like you to all take pride in this plant, and let's make the next-generation products that these engines will be used in a success."

The new I4 engines realize superb performance due to improved torque and increased output, have excellent fuel economy and clean emissions, and perform quietly with little vibration. The engines will be used in upcoming products such as the next generation mid-size "Atenza" (overseas name: Mazda6), which is to be produced at the Hofu plant. Production preparations for "Atenza" are proceeding smoothly. Production for "Atenza" begins in mid-February for European markets, with sales in Japan scheduled from early summer.

A trial run of the new engine plant was held from last October. This plant has introduced the "Cosworth casting process," which is also used for the F1 engine.

This casting process technology has been provided by Ford and Cosworth from England, and then matured and innovated by Mazda-specific technology. Through this, the mass production of quality, lightweight, and compact engines has been attained, and an epoch-making production process, producing at a lower cost than cast iron engines, realized.

The new engines, in addition to being used in future Mazda products, will also be used by the Ford Group, with approximately 2 million units, of which Mazda will produce around 425,000 units, expected to be produced within several years. The production bases in the Ford Group consist of a total of four plants: the Mazda plant here in Japan, and Ford plants in the U.S., Mexico, and Spain. Production at the United States and the Mexico plants began from the second half of 2000.

Mazda has positioned this engine as the cutting edge global core unit engine in the Ford Group, and will continue to foster this technology.
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