Currently reading: Ford-Mazda tie-up to end
Ford to sell off a large part of its Mazda stake; firms will no longer jointly develop vehicles
Autocar
News
2 mins read
19 November 2010

Ford is cutting its stake in Mazda and will end joint vehicle development with the Japanese brand.

The move comes as part of the US firm's global 'One Ford' plan to develop vehicles to appeal to all worldwide markets. Ford's stake in Mazda is to be cut from 11 per cent to 3.5 per cent, dropping it from being Mazda's largest stakeholder to its fourth-largest.

The pair will continue production tie-ups in Japan and the US and Mazda CEO Takashi Yamanouchi said the pair will also work together on "ventures, projects and exchanges of technology information".

Read more on the One Ford plan

But vehicle development between the pair will end; recent projects between the two have included the development of the current Fiesta/2 superminis. The firms have already said their joint venture of developing and producing vehicles for China will come to an end.

Ford originally cut its stake in Mazda to 13 per cent at the height of the global financial crisis in November 2008 to raise funds to help it stave off Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Yamanouchi said that Mazda was not considering a new tie-up with another car maker, but did say the firm was open to licencing its technology to other makers.

Read more on Mazda's future plans

While Ford concentrates on its One Ford plan, Mazda is poised to completely reinvent itself by launching a new multi-purpose platform, a new chassis and suspension set-up, an advanced six-speed automatic ’box and a pair of uniquely engineered ‘Sky’ petrol and diesel engines. These should be among the most fuel-efficient engines on sale.

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thebaldgit 22 November 2010

Re: Ford, Mazda tie-up to end

This is going to be an important time for Mazda, they have benefitted from Ford's largesse for about thirty years, and now with the markets still under pressure, they now have to stand on their own two feet. I expect that they knew this was coming, as Ford have been gradually reducing their brands to just Ford and Lincoln

optimal_909 21 November 2010

Re: Ford, Mazda tie-up to end

Symanski wrote:
I wonder if Ford can survive without Mazda, Jaguar, Land Rover, Volvo and Aston Martin.
Why not? It already works, Ford became cool again with the young customers at the US coastal areas where Japanese and German brands used to rule, and its image improved a lot in Europe too, especially compared against Opel/Vauxhall. Look at Toyota, most of their cas are sold with its namesake brand - investing marketing efforts in one brand is more cost-effective. In fact VAG is the only one succesful running in many brands, and the way they still picking up whatever is possible makes me think they might go through a boom and bust cycle. If managament detoriates a just little, this huge family of brand will quickly become a liabilty.
Symanski wrote:
Where did Ford go wrong?
Though Ford sent executives to most of the owned brands, the management of those weren't really integrated. This means those savings you mentioned didn't really appear, while most brands simply couldn't live with their liberty. No question, that Jaguar made a mistake by making conservative designs. On the other hand Mazda missed the opportunity to accelerate its technological integration to offer more competetive range (no diesel-automatic drivetrain, for example) and to improve details like precieved quality of the cabin (of the recources they had to spend elsewhere).
Symanski wrote:
The only problem is that then you get the journalists moaning how the X-Type uses a Mondeo underneath! But it's ok for Audi to share with a Skoda.....
I suppose it has also to do something with Jag being British... Anyway, Mazda's model range suffers underinvestment since the crisis began, and this will get worse. For example, with the end of cooperation scales of ecnomies will greatly worsen (Fusion and Fieast won't use Mazda architecture anymore, and Mazda loses access to Ford's parts bin). Also, the Mazda2 is likely to be discontinued. Mazda struggles to make profit as production is in Japan, and the modular platform under development will be definitely unfit for a small car. We'll see a small range of mid-sized cars and crossovers with tight selection of compromised drivetrains. Not many will pay premium for a Mazda if Kia/Hyundai models will offer better performance and richer equipment... I fear within 5 years Mazda will loose independece, and by that time it will be in critical shape...

Symanski 20 November 2010

Re: Ford, Mazda tie-up to end

I wonder if Ford can survive without Mazda, Jaguar, Land Rover, Volvo and Aston Martin.

Can you believe that Ford used to own (part own for Mazda) all those brands? Where did Ford go wrong? They're credited with turning around all of those brands, and Ford did with their quality programs. Ford must have got something in return.

I think you must look to VAG. They share platforms and engines across a wide range of cars. For these new independant car companies they must look to makes similar savings on development and production. The only problem is that then you get the journalists moaning how the X-Type uses a Mondeo underneath! But it's ok for Audi to share with a Skoda.....