Fate of the Changan-Ford-Mazda partnership is currently up in the air

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 29, 2010

The fate of the Changan-Ford-Mazda partnership is currently up in the air as the involved companies wait for the Chinese government's approval of its restructuring, according to Mazda Motor Corp.

Rumors of a possible termination of this three-way collaboration have been spreading, ever since Ford Motor Co. freed up some cash in 2008 by cutting its controlling one-third stake in Mazda to 13%.

Some industry watchers think that one option was to split the venture into two 50-50 ties between Chongqing Changan Automobile Co. and its two foreign partners. While Mazda had chosen not to directly address this possibility, it said that the partners had filed a restructuring plan for the venture to the government.

Mazda further stated that the partnership had been successful over the years but that they are constantly assessing new opportunities in order to maximize its business structure and operations.

Mazda explained that this assessment is being done to improve products and services and by doing so, would satisfy even more its growing customer base in China.

A Mazda spokeswoman didn´t share details about the restructuring plan, except only to say that the venture is thinking about expanding its 160,000-unit plant in the eastern city of Nanjing, which also needs the government's approval.

Ford and Changan have yet to make their official statements about the matter. It can be recalled that Mazda began manufacturing the Mazda6 in China in March 2003 via a technical cooperation agreement with FAW Group, China's No. 2 carmaker.

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