Ford-Mazda capital tie-up ends

Ford-Mazda capital tie-up ends

A Mazda2 eco-car moves down the line at the AutoAlliance Thailand plant, a Ford-Mazda joint venture in Rayong.
A Mazda2 eco-car moves down the line at the AutoAlliance Thailand plant, a Ford-Mazda joint venture in Rayong.

TOKYO — Mazda Motor Corp and Ford Motor Co have formally dissolved their 36-year-old capital alliance but will continue to cooperate in the production of some vehicles, including their AutoAlliance Thailand venture.

Ford sold out the remainder of its stake, 2.1%, in the Japanese carmaker between April and September, the sources said. The US automaker had been gradually offloading its shares since suffering from the global financial crisis in 2008 and subsequent global economic slowdown.

But the companies will continue to cooperate in producing pickup trucks at their joint venture in Thailand, as well as contract production in Taiwan and South Africa, said sources familiar with the matter.

"We'll maintain our tie-ups in areas where we both have benefits," Mazda said in a statement.

Ford began investing in Mazda in 1979 when the Japanese carmaker's fortunes slumped amid the global oil shock. Ford increased its stake to a peak of 33.4% in 1996, sending a president and other executives to Mazda.

The AutoAlliance Thailand plant in Rayong has a production capacity of 190,000 vehicles per year. Of the total, pickup trucks make up 70,000 units and passenger cars 120,000 units.


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