Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Hills of North Georgia,USA
Production of the Mazda2 begins in Europe
Mazda Motor Co issued the following press release:
Mazda has achieved a major milestone in its history by manufacturing the first model engineered by the company in Europe. The first of the Mazda2 has just come off the assembly line at the Ford plant in Valencia.
Mazda has planned annual production of 40,000 units of this new compact model, destined exclusively for European markets.
Mazda Motor Europe Vice-President for Sales, Dan Morris, stated: "Mazda2 is the second model to come from Mazda's resurgence strategy, which we call the Millennium Plan. Like the first newcomer, the Mazda6, it is a car that has been designed and developed specifically to meet the needs, demands and expectations of European customers. As such, it will play a key role in increasing our market share and brand awareness across Europe."
To achieve this goal, a team of 70 engineers from Japan has been working at the Valencia plant to ensure that the Mazda2 would meet with the specific needs and demands of European customers.
Mr. Morris added: "Europe plays a very significant and increasing role in Mazda's global aspirations. The launch of the Mazda6 has been a huge success with the media and customers - and we have reacted fast to market trends by including a latest generation diesel engine using common rail technology. Now, Mazda has started to produce cars in Europe through our partner, Ford."
By maximising synergies, both companies reap the benefit of reduced costs and increased efficiency. For Ford, the incorporation of the Mazda2 into the production schedule has meant that the Valencia plant has become a completely flexible manufacturing facility, producing two different cars on one common assembly line. For Mazda, the new Mazda2 model will help to further build the brand in Europe as well as rejuvenating the customer base, delivering growth in the small car segment and creating a European supplier base. Significantly, it also ensures that Mazda is less at risk from fluctuations of currency exchange rates involving the Yen.
The impetus of Mazda's focus on Europe is clear from the 2002 sales results where, even under adverse market conditions, growth of 11% was achieved. Mazda is now aiming for a volume of 210,000 units in Europe during 2003 - a 15.4% increase over last year (182,000). Mazda2 is expected to contribute 14% of the total volume.
The Mazda2 is an urban fun car, aimed mainly at young and active customers. It is the second of the company's new generation products and Mazda anticipates that it will support the highly-successful introduction of the Mazda6 through its dynamic values, versatility, functionality, performance and exceptional quality and craftsmanship.
The Mazda2 is constructed with an extremely rigid cell plus numerous safety features that include dual-stage airbags for the driver and front-seat passenger, as well as optional side and curtain airbags. All production versions are equipped with Emergency Braking Assistance (EBA) - Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) and Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) are optionally available.
In most European markets the Mazda2 will be sold with four different engine options: 1.25-litre, 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre petrol units that deliver 75 hp, 80 hp and 100 hp, respectively, plus a 1.4-litre 68 hp diesel engine using common rail technology.
The Mazda2 will arrive at Mazda dealers across Europe during March/April. Individual market prices and equipment levels will be announced late January/early February.
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.....