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Mazda Says Goodbye to North America

Production in Michigan goes to Japan.

Mazda Motor Corp. said it will move car production from Michigan to its domestic plant, leaving the company with no manufacturing base in North America.

The production of the Mazda6 sedan at AutoAlliance International (AAI), a joint venture with Ford, will be transferred to its plant in Hofu, Japan, when the current product cycle plan ends, the automaker said.

The company declined to offer a specific date for the end of the product cycle. Jiji Press said the production transfer will be around 2012.

The Mazda6, known as the Atenza in Japan, then will be exported to the North American market from Japan.

"Our intention is to transfer production ... in order to improve production and investment efficiencies and optimize our business," Mazda President Takashi Yamanouchi said, adding that his company is committed to working with Ford.

"Mazda and Ford have enjoyed a close relationship for over 30 years. We have collaborated on projects where there are mutual benefits, and both companies remain committed to continuing this strategic partnership," he said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

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