SHANGHAI - 1 juni 2005 - Mazda Motor Corporation today held an opening ceremony for its new Shanghai-based company, Mazda Motor (Shanghai) Business Management & Consulting Co., Ltd., established to integrate its business operations in China.
The new company, more commonly referred to as Mazda China Operations (MCO), was inaugurated at 10 a.m. with an official opening ceremony, tape cutting and a launch party. About twenty new staff and Mazda executives, including John G. Parker, Representative Director & Executive Vice President of Mazda Motor Corporation, attended the event. Later in the afternoon at a nearby hotel, approximately 230 guests--including Shanghai municipal government officials, attendees from the Consulate General of Japan in Shanghai, Mazda's corporate partners in China, and suppliers--took part in the festivities. The MCO office is located on the twentieth floor of the Shanghai Information Tower, in the Pudong business district.
"We are celebrating the MCO office opening today, and I am very pleased to say this also signals the start of Mazda's full-scale operations in the Chinese market," said Parker. "As Mazda's China headquarters, this company will play a prominent role in coordinating our business activity in this important market, and the office and staff are an integral part of attaining positive results here. June first is also Children's Day, so I would like all of you to keep a close eye on Mazda's 'new child' that has just been born here in China."
Mazda has set a mid-term goal to build a framework that can produce and sell 300,000 units in 2010 as it sets out to expand its China business.
To achieve its goals in China, Mazda confirmed on January 7, 2005, that it would participate in a joint venture with Changan Ford to build a manufacturing facility in Nanjing, to expand its production capacity. On May 25, Mazda announced that it had gained government approval to establish a joint venture engine company project in Nanjing with the Changan Automotive Group and the Ford Motor Company. Additionally, on March 1, Mazda jointly established the FAW Mazda Motor Sales Co. Ltd. (FMSC) with its Ford and First Auto Works (FAW) partners to further strengthen its sales system.
Mazda plans to augment its product lineup by introducing eight new models to the Chinese market in the next three years. As a start, Mazda will begin sales this summer of its four-door, four-seat, rotary-engined brand icon RX-8 sports car.
MCO was established in January 2005 to coordinate all areas of Mazda's China business operations. Kiyoshi Ozaki, Director and Senior Executive Officer at Mazda in charge of China business, was appointed Chairman of the Board of MCO. Satoshi Tachikake, General manager of Mazda's China Business Division, became President and CEO of the new company.
Mazda's production and sales have demonstrated strong growth since its business operations in China gained momentum in 2000. Amid intensified competition in the Chinese passenger vehicle market, Mazda sold 97,132 units in 2004 (up 21 percent from the previous year), the third consecutive year of sales growth ahead of total market demand. In 2005, despite a January-April drop of 4.2 percent in demand, Mazda has sold 42,514 units in wholesales (an increase of 25 percent over the previous year's pace) with sustained high sales growth.