Mazda to start selling cars in Mexico; planned FTA helps

Mazda To Start Selling Cars In Mexico; Planned FTA Helps

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
December 9, 2004 10:29 p.m.

By Natsuo Nishio, Dow Jones Newswires

Edited by Hugh Lawson

TOKYO — Mazda Motor Corp. (7261.TO) said Friday it has set up a new unit in Mexico to start selling vehicles there, taking advantage of the scheduled implementation of a free trade agreement between Japan and Mexico next year.

The major Japanese carmaker, an affiliate of U.S.-based Ford Motor Co. (F), said it will start marketing the RX-8 sportscar, the subcompact MAZDA3 in 4-door and 5-door models, and the midsize MAZDA6 Sports Sedan through a comprehensive dealer network of its own.

Mazda said its sales efforts will initially focus on the country’s three largest metropolitan areas, including Guadalajara, Monterrey and Mexico City, with five of its own showrooms.

Mazda hasn’t decided yet on when it will start selling cars there, and what sales target it will set.

With a free trade agreement between Japan and Mexico scheduled for implementation in spring, Mazda will enter the Mexican market free of import tariffs, it said.

Prior to the free trade agreement’s ratification, Japanese automakers without a factory presence in Mexico were subject to heavy taxes on imported vehicles.

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