Mazda Starts Production in Mexico Plant; Will It Help Sales of the Lagging Mazda3?

By | January 27, 2014
Sales of the Mazda3 compact car were down more than a quarter last month, and 15 percent last year. With just 104,713 units sold in 2013, the Mazda3 makes up only a small portion of the market compared to competitors from Ford, Honda, and other automakers. Mazda's overall limited market share in the U.S. has likely resulted from its limited production in North America. But as Mazda starts production at its new plant in Salamanca, Mexico, this may help spur sales in the U.S. "There won't be a product shortage on the 3. We're going to be in good shape because of that Mexico inventory," Tom Carey, a Mazda dealer in Urbandale, Iowa, told Automotive News. Mazda dealers are anticipating that the boost in production from the new Mexico plant will increase sales by about 20 percent, the publication reported via Rob King, the brand's outgoing dealer council chairman with a North Carolina Mazda dealership. Production of the small Mazda3 car in Mexico will add on to production of the car taking place in Japan. The cars built in Mexico will be sold in the U.S. and other countries in the Americas and for Europe. Mazda will also later begin building the Mazda2 at the Mexico plant as well. "With the start of mass production, we now have a system capable of offering vehicles of the same high quality as those made in Japan, on a global scale, and that is extremely gratifying," said Keishi Egawa, president and CEO of Mazda Motor Manufacturing de Mexico, in a recent statement from the company. Source: Mazda, Automotive News