<< Back to News ]
Oct 25, 2004
HIROSHIMA, Japan, June 25, 2004 - Mazda Motor Corporation President and CEO Hisakazu Imaki welcomed Bill Ford, chairman and CEO of Ford Motor Company, to Mazda's headquarters today. The visit to Hiroshima was Ford's first as chairman and CEO of Ford and comes at a time when the two companies are celebrating the 25th anniversary of their historic partnership.
During his visit, Ford addressed over 500 Mazda employees in a formal presentation in the company's headquarters, saying, "The Ford - Mazda partnership has shown the world the right way to bring two organizations together. As we celebrate our 25th anniversary, we are proud partners, we are equals, and we are stronger together than we were apart."
Imaki added, "I know that everyone at Mazda is committed to supporting this partnership by making the Mazda brand even stronger and more successful."
Ford and Mazda entered into a capital alliance in 1979 when Ford acquired a 25 percent stake in the Hiroshima-based company. That partnership was further strengthened in 1996 when Ford increased its stake in Mazda to 33.4 percent.
Imaki and the executive team briefed the Ford chairman on Mazda's current business achievements and reviewed, among other things, progress at Mazda's Ujina No. 2 plant. The U2 plant was reopened in May of 2004 to support further Mazda growth by expanding domestic production capacity to 898,000 vehicles, a 14 percent increase. The additional capacity will allow Mazda to launch two all-new products during calendar year 2004: the compact Verisa will debut in the Japanese market in June and an all-new space wagon will debut at the Paris Auto Show in September.
Supported by strong vehicle sales in nearly all global markets, Mazda posted its best financial results in a decade during fiscal year 2003, which closed March 31, 2004. Mazda sold over 1,068,000 vehicles during calendar year 2003 and, according to industry sources, was the fastest growing car company in the world during that period.