Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Hills of North Georgia,USA
Mazda says nothing decided on Hiroshima plant
TOKYO, Oct 3 (Reuters) - Japan's Mazda Motor Corp <7261.T> said on Thursday it had made no decision on its No. 2 Ujina factory in Hiroshima despite a report the plant would be reopened to back up others running at high capacity.
The Nihon Keizai Shimbun said Japan's fifth-largest automaker -- which shut the western Japan factory in September 2001 as part of restructuring -- had decided to resume operations at the plant next year as the company rolls out a wave of new models.
The automaker, 33 percent owned by Ford Motor Co <F.N>, would not confirm the Thursday report, which also said Mazda planned to produce 200,000 vehicles a year at the plant after reopening it.
"There is no comment that we can make at this point," said Mazda spokesman Hideo Azuma.
"It is true that we are studying various options regarding the output capacity of our plants, but we will likely not be announcing any decision on that until around our first-half earnings announcement (in November)."
Mazda plans to produce the latest version of its Familia subcompact -- set to go on sale in the second half of 2003 -- at the Ujina plant for the domestic and overseas markets, the paper said.
The company would export the car to Europe instead of producing it there as originally planned, it said.
The automaker also plans to move production of its Bongo series to the Ujina plant from its Fuchu plant in Hiroshima, and move some production of its remodeled subcompact Demio to the Ujina factory in response to strong demand, the paper said.
The launch of the fully remodelled Demio and the RX-8 sports car are expected to help drive Mazda's earnings growth this year.
After spending much of the 1990s in the red, Mazda managed to return to profit last year, helped by partner Ford which led it through six years of restructuring.
A new brand identity, including a well-received "Zoom-Zoom" marketing campaign, has won Mazda strong reviews from analysts, many of whom appear sold on Mazda's promise of a product-led recovery in the coming years.
Shares in Mazda closed the morning session up 1.09 percent at 279 yen, outperforming a 0.37 percent drop in the Nikkei average <.N225>.
My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.
My next Ford.....