An insider said that Mazda Motor Corp. will unveil plans this Friday to build a new factory in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato. According to the Reuters report, the plant would be Mazda’s fourth overseas assembly site. The others are in the U.S., China and Thailand. All of these are joint ventures with former top shareholder Ford Motor Co.
This new plant in Mexico is slated to begin construction this fall. This source also revealed that this plant will begin production in the second half of 2013.
The compact cars that Mazda will build in this plant will be sold in Mexico and South America initially but eventually, they will be exported to North America. This investment, which is estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars, will be shared with Sumitomo Corp., a trading company.
This factory will have initial capacity to produce a minimum of 50,000 cars each year. The source added that Mazda is expected to make the announcement together with its financial forecasts for the business year that ends in March 2012.
Mazda has yet to discuss how this move to open a plant in Mexico would affect the brand’s future plans for the joint venture with Ford at the AutoAlliance plant in Flat Rock, Mich.
Last week, Mazda said that it will end the production of the Mazda6 sedan by mid-2012. Mazda has yet to decide what’s to become of the Michigan plant, which is where the Ford Mustang is built.