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Mazda2 production on a roll

First up: Mazda’s Aussie customers are first in the queue for Mazda2 production from Thailand, with first deliveries scheduled in November.

Australia to get first shipment of new-generation Mazda2 hatches from Thailand

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Mazda logo17 Sep 2014

By RON HAMMERTON

AUSTRALIA has been given priority for the first batch of all-new Mazda2 hatchbacks to roll from the Thai production line.

The fourth-generation model went into mass production today at the Auto Alliance Thailand (AAT) plant – jointly operated with Ford – at Rayong, east of Bangkok, with all of the initial output destined for Australian showrooms.

The first shipment of cars is expected to be delivered to Australian customers in early November, introducing Mazda’s SkyActiv engine, transmission and chassis technology to the light car class.

The fact that Mazda Australia has been given priority for the new model out of Thailand speaks volumes for the regard in which Australia’s biggest full-line importer is held within the Japanese-based company.

With a market share of more than 9.0 per cent, Mazda Australia has one of the highest market penetrations in the Mazda world. Its Mazda2 fares even better, sometimes leading its segment and currently holding a 12.8 per cent share of the light-car segment, even in its run-out phase.

Once the Thai plant has fulfilled initial Australian orders, it will start producing cars for other markets in the ASEAN group and Oceania.

Mazda’s Hofu factory in Japan kicked off Mazda2 production in Japan last July.

Now that Thailand Mazda2 production is up and running, Mazda’s new factory in Mexico will be next on the Mazda2 schedule, starting later this year.

Mazda’s president Masamichi Kogai said putting a new model into production at three different plants around the world in quick succession was a “huge and challenging task”.

“We call Hofu plant in Japan the ‘mother plant,’ and we are committed to ensuring that vehicles produced in Thailand and Mexico, for our customers around the world, are built to the same high quality standards as those in Japan,” he said.

Mazda Australia sourced its Mazda2 from the Thai factory in 2010, but stock shortages forced it to revert back to supply from Hiroshima in early 2011.

The move also meant the demise in Australia of the Mazda2 sedan, which is not produced in Japan.

A major expansion of production lines at AAT has freed up availability stock this time around, allowing Mazda Australia to resume Thai sourcing for its smallest model.

Mazda’s BT-50 ute is also produced at the AAT plant, as is Ford’s Ranger ute, Fiesta light car and Focus small car.

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