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Mar 2, 2004
Mazda First Production Vehicles Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony
Flat Rock, Mich. - Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) today announced the start of U.S. production of the MAZDA6 Sport Wagon and MAZDA6
5-Door. In a ribbon-cutting ceremony held today at AutoAlliance International, Inc. (AAI), officials from Mazda, AAI and Ford Motor Company oversaw the first production vehicles to reach the end of the assembly line and leave the factory. The Sport Wagon and 5-Door models will join the popular MAZDA6 Sports Sedan in Mazda dealerships across the country in late March.
Building on the momentum of the successful launch of the MAZDA6 Sports Sedan, the MAZDA6 Sport Wagon and 5-Door models will offer more variety for consumers who desire extra versatility and style, but still yearn for the "soul of a sports car." All Sport Wagons come equipped with a 220-horsepower DOHC V-6 engine, and, keeping true to Mazda's Zoom-zoom credo, offer both a standard five-speed manual transmission or an optional five-speed automatic. The Mazda6 5-Door, like the sedan, comes with either a 160-horsepower I-4 or the 220-horsepower V-6 (both engines available with either the standard manual transmission or the optional automatic).
Before a crowd of nearly 2,000 AAI employees and local government officials, Jim O'Sullivan, president and CEO of MNAO, congratulated plant employees: " From the start of production of the MAZDA6 sedan over a year ago, this team has turned out an exceptional vehicle earning Mazda the highest-rated new vehicle nameplate in the entire 2003 J.D. Power and Associates' APEAL study."
Phil Spender, president and CEO of AAI, added, "We are extremely proud to be building these exciting new vehicles and are looking forward to a very smooth and successful launch."
Masaharu Yamaki, managing executive officer of Mazda Motor Corporation and Mark Schultz, group vice president, Ford Asia-Pacific operations, were also on hand to welcome the new additions to the MAZDA6 family. "The addition of the two new body types will further strengthen the MAZDA6 lineup in North America by offering consumers more choices," said Yamaki. "I want to personally thank the AutoAlliance employees and our local friends and suppliers who have worked so hard in preparation for this day."
The MAZDA6 offers the greatest choice of body styles, engine and transmissions of any vehicle in its class, all delivered with standard Zoom-Zoom. During its debut year, the MAZDA6 has received over 70 domestic and international awards.
AutoAlliance International is a joint venture between Ford Motor Company and Mazda Motor Corporation. Originally opened by Mazda in 1987, the plant has produced five different Mazda models in the ensuing years. The two new MAZDA6 vehicles are the fourth and fifth Mazda's produced in the facility. AAI has a modern flexible body shop that handles the complexity of producing all three MAZDA6 body styles with no production shutdown.
Mazda North American Operations is responsible for the sales and marketing, customer parts and service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States. Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., MNAO has more than 700 dealerships nationwide.
EDITOR'S NOTE: For more information on Mazda products, visit the online Mazda media center at www.mazdausamedia.com.