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MAZDA TO PURCHASE $3 BILLION OF U.S. PARTS AND PRODUCTS BY 1994

    MAZDA TO PURCHASE $3 BILLION OF U.S. PARTS AND PRODUCTS BY 1994
    FLAT ROCK, Mich., Nov. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Mazda Motor Corp. of Hiroshima, Japan, said it expects its purchases of U.S.-built parts and products to total nearly $3 billion per year by 1994.  That figure more than doubles the level of 1990 purchases, which totaled $1.43 billion.
    The purchases will include automotive parts and materials for use in Mazda's U.S. and Japanese production facilities.  Also included will be vehicles purchased in the United States and those purchased for import into Japan.
    Specifically, Mazda said it would:
    -- Increase the domestic content of vehicles built at its Flat Rock
       plant to over 75 percent by using more locally made parts and
       materials.
    -- Increase its purchases of vehicles built by Ford that are sold in
       the U.S. under the Mazda nameplate.
    -- Import more U.S.-made automotive parts and materials into Japan
       for use in Japanese-built vehicles.
    -- Increase its imports of U.S.-made Ford Probes built at its Flat
       Rock plant as well as its import of other Ford vehicles for sale
       in Japan.
    The new initiatives represent a major increase in Mazda's U.S. spending, and continue to build upon efforts the company has made over the past several years to boost its U.S. purchases.  Those efforts have been substantial.
    Most significant was the company's decision to build its U.S. manufacturing facility in Flat Rock.  Located near Detroit, in the heart of the U.S. auto industry, the site for the $550 million plant was largely selected because of its access to North American automotive suppliers.  The Flat Rock manufacturing plant, which has some 3,500 employees, is represented by the UAW.  The plant has continuously invested in the production of new products and an expansion in its use of locally sourced parts.
    The increase in the domestic content of cars built at Flat Rock is the latest in a continuing upward trend at the plant.  The domestic content level was about 50 percent when operations at the plant began in 1987, and increased to 65 percent in 1989 with minor changeover. Domestic content -- based on the CAFE formula -- will reach 76-77 percent when the plant completes its first full model changeover in February 1992.
    The significant boost in domestic content will come mainly through new, local sourcing of components such as drive shafts and brake components as well as airbags and fuel injection control systems.
    The number of North American companies supplying MMUC will increase to 179 from the current 127.  There were 76 suppliers when the plant began operation in 1987.
    Since the establishment of its Flat Rock manufacturing facility, Mazda has worked closely with U.S. suppliers to "design in" components and manufacturing processes.  In other words, Mazda research and development engineers work together with suppliers to help design and develop parts for those vehicles built by Mazda, both in the U.S. and Japan, from the beginning stages of product development.  They also help the suppliers implement manufacturing systems that make them competitive in the areas of quality, cost and deliverability.  Mazda has already completed design-ins with 63 suppliers for 91 parts.  Efforts are currently under way on an additional 122 parts with 88 supply companies. With the completion of its newest expansion in December, Mazda will have a $10.5 million investment in research and development facilities in Flat Rock.
    Mazda will continue its efforts to expand its purchases of domestic parts and materials -- including engines and transmissions -- in the future.
    In a 1990 agreement with Ford Motor Company, Mazda became the first Japanese automaker to purchase and market under its own name -- the Mazda Navajo -- vehicles built by a U.S. manufacturer.  Beginning in 1993, Mazda will purchase compact pickup trucks developed and built by Ford.  The new pickups will replace the Mazda models that are currently imported, with annual purchase value expected to reach more than $650 million in the North American market.
    In Japan, Mazda began importing U.S.-built Ford Taurus models in February 1988, followed by Mazda-built Ford Probes in that same year. The company later added Lincoln Continental and Thunderbird models, all of which are now sold in Japan under a dealer network called Autorama, which is owned and operated jointly by Ford and Mazda.
    As Mazda previously announced, the company will incorporate a total of 37 imported parts and materials, including 24 from the U.S., in its recently introduced 626 series, produced in Japan.  Mazda intends to expand from this base to using imported products in its other model lineups as well.  Mazda's imports of U.S. vehicles, parts, materials and other items into Japan will increase to $345 million in 1994 from $256 million in 1990.
    Mazda has also made significant purchases of U.S.-made products in non-automotive fields.  For example, Mazda recently purchased two Cray Supercomputers to enhance its research and development capabilities, and sophisticated General Electric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) equipment for use in the company's hospital in Hiroshima.
    Mazda is dedicated to the American economy and to continuing its efforts to increase purchases of U.S. parts to be used here and imported to Japan.
    -0-                       11/19/91
    /CONTACT:  Randy Boileau of Mazda Information Bureau, 313-393-3315/
    (F) CO:  Mazda Motor Corp.; Ford Motor Company ST:  Michigan IN:  AUT SU: DC-SB -- DE015 -- 4893 11/19/91 11:06 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 19, 1991
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