Mazda has ceased production at the AutoAlliance International, its assembly plant in Flat Rock, Mich., after more than two decades. Ford said that the plant, which has been jointly operated by Ford and Mazda since 1992, will continue as it is for now. The plant had produced the Ford Mustang and Mazda6 sedan, which was the only Mazda assembled in North America.
The next-generation Mazda6 will be built in Japan. With Mazda’s move to stop building vehicles in the U.S., Ford is now making plans to produce the redesigned Ford Fusion sedan at the Flat Rock plant. This model is currently being produced in Mexico for the North American market. While negotiating with the United Auto Workers, Ford said yes to moving back some of the Fusion output to Flat Rock.
Before Ford sold off its investment in Mazda in 2008, it had owned 33.4 percent of Mazda. A spokesman said that Ford currently maintains a 3% stake in Mazda. In a statement, Ford said that it continues to look at different various possibilities for the AAI. However, Ford clarified that for now, there’s nothing to announce. When Mazda6 production ends, the AAI joint venture will continue.
The investment ratio between Ford and Mazda in AAI will not be changed. Ford had revealed that it has prepared a $550 million investment and is planning to 1,200 workers at the plant, which presently has 1,700 workers.
The only market where the Japanese automaker reported an operating loss in was in North America. Automotive News said earlier this month that in the quarter that ends in June, Mazda’s operating loss in North America surged to ¥10.72 billion, or $134.8 million. A year earlier, it had posted a loss of $88.6 million, when its worldwide production declined due to the shortage in parts due to the disaster last year in Japan.