Mazda3's steady sales in overseas markets - including the UK - have prompted Mazda Motor Corporation to begin production of its award-winning C-Segment family car Mazda3 at the Ujina Plant No.2 (U2).
The additional Mazda3 assembly at the U2 plant, located near Mazda's global headquarters, is projected to be two thousand units per month, and intended for the European, North American and Australian markets, where demand for the sporty compact is brisk. The Mazda3 is already being produced at Mazda's Hofu No.1 (H1) and No.2 (H2) plants in western Japan, where total production was 337,377 units in fiscal 2004.
Since its launch in October 2003, the Mazda3 has received accolades from consumers and media alike, winning over 50 awards worldwide. Strong sales continue in key markets: 76,079 Mazda3s sold in the U.S. in 2004, and from January through April 2005, U.S. Mazda3 sales were 31,722 units, up 32 per cent over year-ago levels.
Here in the UK, it is eighteen months since Mazda3 was launched and almost 16,000 owners have ensured this vehicle continues to inject that much-needed zoom-zoom to the crowded C-segment.
The U2 plant resumed operations in May 2004 on the strength of Mazda's business recovery. Its world-class flexible production line can manufacture compact cars through to minivans, and with the introduction of the eco-friendly Three Layer Wet Paint System, the U2 plant plays a prominent role as one of Mazda's most advanced production sites.
Masaharu Yamaki, Mazda's managing executive officer in charge of production and business logistics said, "One of the best characteristics of Mazda's flexible manufacturing system is that it can respond quickly to production increases such as with the Mazda3.
"The additional Mazda3 production at the U2 plant, in addition to the existing volume at Hofu No.1 and No.2 plants, not only showcases Mazda's sophisticated production system, it also goes a long way to making sure that our customers around the world get the vehicle they want, when they want it."
Mazda3 continues to set a new class standard in this all-important family car sector in the UK thanks to its stylish design, high specification levels and an array of safety features fitted as standard.
Mazda Motors UK marketing director Jeremy Thomson commented on the success of Mazda3 in its first eighteen months: "The Mazda3 represents a fresh alternative in what is essentially a very crowded and competitive segment dominated by the volume manufacturers.
"It is a segment where customers want more than the standard car; they want an involving drive, quality and durability. Mazda3 adds these attributes in abundance injecting a little bit of zoom-zoom to the sector."
To read our in depth road test of the Mazda3 [ click here ]Published 1 July 2005