Assembly of the all-new Mazda 3, known as the Axela in other markets, has finally commenced in Thailand and Malaysia, two years after the model was first built in Japan, Colombia and South Africa.
Production in Thailand, where the Mazda 2 subcompact and the BT-50 pickup truck are also a hit, started on February 28.
Malaysia, on the other hand, started selling Mazda 3 units made by Inokom Corporation today. Mazda used to import the 3 from Japan.
"Originally launched in 2003, the Mazda3 has become one of our core products. Today, it represents the Mazda brand in over one hundred countries and regions, and with annual sales of 440,000 units, it comprises roughly one third of all Mazda vehicle sales," said Yuji Nakamine, Mazda's managing executive officer in charge of overseas sales. "Winning over 120 global awards, the Mazda3 has gained worldwide recognition for its stylish design, sporty driving dynamics, and excellent environmental performance."
Now that the all-new Mazda 3 is now produced in Thailand and with Ford's confirmation that the new Focus will be built there starting next year, does it mean the death knell for Ford Philippines' Sta. Rosa plant is now sounding?
The answer is no--or at least not yet--according to Anika Salceda, Ford Group Philippines' assistant vice president for corporate communications.
"The announcement has no effect on our current operations here in the Philippines," Salceda said.