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Mazda’s Head of N.American Ops Will Be its Next CEO

Promotion of Akira Marumoto comes at critical time of change for #5 Japanese automaker.

by on May.11, 2018

Akira Marumoto, a 38-year Mazda veteran, will become the company's new president and CEO.

Mazda Motor Corp.’s president and CEO will step down next month and will be replaced by the executive currently overseeing its biggest market, the Americas, and North America, in particular.

The transition, which will see current Vice President Akira Marumoto take the helm, comes at a critical time for Japan’s fifth-largest automaker. After having its long-time partner, Ford Motor Co., sever ties, Mazda has been searching for new allies and over the last 12 months has announced several projects with industry giant Toyota that will see it share in a new, U.S. assembly plant. Mazda is also pushing to develop costly new powertrain technologies at a time when most markets are demanding significant improvements in fuel economy and emissions.

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“Given the rapid changes occurring in the auto industry at the moment it’s often asked whether a small company like us will be OK,” the 60-year-old Marumoto told reporters in Japan on Friday, cautioning that, “before we even consider this we need to show our strengths, and what makes us different if we want to grow our brand.”

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Mazda Lines Up Alfa, Toyota While Looking for More Alliance Partners

by on Jan.21, 2013

Mazda's new deal with Alfa will help both makers develop new sports cars - including a replacement for the current Mazda Miata.

Little Mazda is lining up some big partners.

Struggling to regain its footing after the collapse of its decades-old alliance with Ford Motor Co., the Japanese maker has been looking for new opportunities and, in recent months, it has inked several potentially lucrative deals that could help it flesh out its product portfolio and shore up its bottom line.

The latest deal pairs Mazda with Alfa Romeo, the struggling subsidiary of Italy’s Fiat SpA. Last week, the two confirmed that Mazda will use one of its Japanese assembly plants to produce a new sports car both for its own dealers as well as Alfa’s.

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Separately, Mazda has signed a deal with Toyota that will see the smaller maker produce vehicles for the Japanese giant at a new factory in Mexico.

“I think you’re going to see us do more alliances where it fits the brand,” Jim O’Sullivan, CEO of Mazda’s U.S. subsidiary, tells TheDetroitBureau.com.

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Mazda Will Build New Small Car for Toyota

Mazda Mexico plant could prove replacement for Toyota Yaris.

by on Nov.09, 2012

Mazda will produce a small car based on this Mazda2 for Toyota.

Toyota plans to team up with erstwhile Japanese rival Mazda to produce a new small car that would either replace or share the mini-car market with the Japanese giant’s existing Yaris model.

The new model, the two makers today confirmed, will be based on the same platform as the little Mazda2 and will be produced at the factory Mazda is now building in Mexico.

The announcement underscores the shifting strategies redefining the auto industry. Long determined to do just everything on its own, Toyota has been rapidly inking an assortment of alliances with traditional competitors like Ford, BMW, and now Mazda.

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For the smaller Japanese maker, the move could be equally significant.  The current Mazda2 was developed as part of a long-running alliance with Ford Motor Co. But the U.S. maker has steadily wound down that relationship since Alan Mulally signed on as CEO six years ago, leaving Mazda searching for a new partner.

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