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FORD STRENGTHENS DISTRIBUTION IN JAPAN

 FORD STRENGTHENS DISTRIBUTION IN JAPAN
 TOKYO, June 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Ford Motor Company (Japan) Ltd. is to


increase its equity and overall involvement in Autorama Inc., the company which distributes Ford products in Japan.
 Ford Japan and Mazda Motor Corporation each are to have a 36.5-percent equity interest in Autorama, according to a new understanding among the three companies, with the remaining 27 percent owned by independent investors. Ford and Mazda currently own 34 percent and 39 percent respectively of Autorama's equity; these interests were acquired in 1989.
 The new understanding also provides for Ford and Mazda to be represented equally on the Board of Directors of Autorama.
 "This agreement will signify a reinforcement of Ford's commitment to the Japanese market," said Konen Suzuki, president of Ford Motor Company (Japan) Ltd.
 Ford and Mazda believe that this increased cooperation will strengthen the marketing and sales of imported and domestic Ford vehicles in Japan, which will, in turn, result in a strengthening of Autorama.
 In addition, Ford Japan is to become the official importer for Ford vehicles to be marketed through the Autorama distribution network in Japan -- currently the Lincoln Continental, Ford Taurus, Ford Thunderbird and Ford Probe. At present, this function is performed by Mazda.
 Negotiations are currently under way among Autorama, Ford and Mazda, and final agreement is expected by July 1, 1992.
 In 1991, the Autorama distribution system, which currently includes 328 outlets operated by 113 dealers, sold more than 75,000 Ford cars and light trucks in Japan. The Ford volume leader was the Ford Festiva, followed by the Laser and Telstar. Autorama dealers also sold about 1,700 imported vehicles from the United States. Ford is the top-selling foreign automotive brand in Japan.
 Ford Motor Company (Japan) Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F), has been marketing Ford cars and trucks through Autorama since 1982. Mazda has been the importer of Ford vehicles into Japan since 1988 when Autorama started selling imported Ford vehicles in addition to its range of Ford cars and trucks assembled in Japan.
 -0- 6/17/92
 /CONTACT: Ken Brown of Ford International, 313-322-9214/
 (F) CO: Ford Motor Company (Japan) Ltd.; Mazda Motor Corporation;
 Autorama Inc. ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU:


JG -- DE006 -- 1028 06/17/92 10:59 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 17, 1992
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