Mazda uses modular technology on new Mazda 6.
Modular technology helps to cut cost and weight of new Mazda 6
The Mazda 6 goes on sale this fall in the U.S.
By YUZO YAMAGUCHI
TOKYO - Mazda Motor Corp. has cut the cost and weight of its 6 mid-sized sedan by embracing modular technology. The 6 replaces the 626.
Mazda used modules in five component areas: front end, fuel tank, door, cockpit and center panel. Doing so cut production costs of the upcoming model by as much as 8 percent and reduced weight by about 44 pounds, compared with the current 2.0-liter Capella sedan.
In addition to those five modules, Mazda, which is 33.4 percent owned by Ford Motor Co., also is developing lift gate, air-intake and roof modules for models to come after the 6/Atenza this year and next year.
Moreover, Mazda is offering its center-panel module to Ford, said Hitoshi Inoue, Mazda's managing director for engineering and manufacturing.
He did not say whether Ford has decided to use the module in a Ford vehicle.
Mazda's modular strategy is in line with its Millennium Plan, a restructuring strategy that includes cutting purchasing costs by 15 percent between November 2000 and March 2005.
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My next Ford.....