Mazda appears ready to end a nearly quarter century-old joint venture with Ford Motor Co. and stop producing cars in the United States.
The apparent decision reflects the fact that Ford has sold off all but a small portion of its holdings in the Japanese maker – as well as the reality that the Mazda6 model produced in the Flat Rock, Michigan plant has not been doing well in the American market.
Officially known as AutoAlliance International, the plant was opened in 1987 and marked the high-water point in the long-running relationship between Mazda and Ford. The U.S. maker had acquired a controlling stake in its Asian ally, which was then struggling to overcome a series of setbacks. Ford even got to name the CEO at Mazda and appointed a number of Western managers – a rarity at the time.