HIROSHIMA, Japan—Mazda Motor Corporation, together with its distributor in Thailand, Mazda Sales (Thailand) Co., Ltd. (MST), and its distributor in Malaysia, Bermaz Motor Sdn. Bhd., has announced that local assembly of the second-generation Mazda3 (known in Japan as the Mazda Axela) has commenced in Thailand and Malaysia.
On February 28, 2011, MST announced that local assembly of the Mazda3 in Thailand had begun at AutoAlliance (Thailand) Co., Ltd. (AAT). The Mazda3 will be sold as one of Mazda's mainstay models in the Thai market alongside the Mazda BT-50 pickup truck and the Mazda2.
In Malaysia, Bermaz Motor announced that sales of the locally-produced Mazda3 began on March 2, 2011, following the commencement of local assembly by Inokom Corporation Sdn. Bhd*. Bermaz Motor has been selling Mazda3 models imported from Japan since June 2009. The change to local production was made in response to expected sales growth.
Yuji Nakamine, Mazda's managing executive officer in charge of overseas sales, said, "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. Winning over 120 global awards, the Mazda3 has gained worldwide recognition for its stylish design, sporty driving dynamics, and excellent environmental performance. Going forward, we have great expectations that the locally-produced Mazda3 will drive the Mazda brand forward in the rapidly growing Thai and Malaysian markets."
* Inokom is an automotive manufacturing company contracted by Bermaz Motor.