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Mazda, Ford Announce US$500 Million Investment in AAT in Thailand

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Mazda, Ford Announce US$500 Million Investment in AAT in Thailand

Tokyo, Japan, Oct. 14, 2003 - (JCN Newswire) - Mazda Motor Corporation
and Ford Motor Company announced today that the automakers would invest
an additional US$ 500 million (21 billion Baht) in their joint venture,
AutoAlliance (Thailand) Company Limited (AAT). The additional
investments will be made over the next several years to support new
vehicle programs and expansion of the plant's capacity. 

Ford Motor Company Chairman and Chief Executive Officer William Clay
Ford, Jr. made this announcement after a private meeting with Prime
Minister Pol. Lt. Col. Dr. Thaksin Shinatwatra in Thailand. The
announcements mark a new chapter for AAT. Within the next three years,
AAT will embark on a growth plan driven by new vehicle programs, with
investments in facility upgrades, additional tooling and engineering, as
well as an expansion of the plant's capacity to 200,000 units (both CBU
and CKD), up from the current 135,000.

Thailand is an outstanding success story for Mazda and Ford in Asia
Pacific. One of the reasons for the success can be attributed to the
Thai government's open policy towards foreign investment. These include
not only economic incentives and relaxation of foreign ownership
restrictions but also the policies and economic stability. Thailand also
offers the additional advantages of a large domestic market, the biggest
pick-up market outside of the United States, excellent energy and
transportation infrastructure, strong supply base and available pool of
skilled labor.

These were reasons that compelled Mazda and Ford to invest an initial
US$500 million in establishing AutoAlliance Thailand in 1995, which has
since proven to be a sound and rewarding investment for both companies.
Despite the economic downturn of 1997, AAT had thrieved as a global
exporter of one-ton pickups. AAT's operations have contributed to
increased revenue and a positive trade balance of more than US$1 billion
(48 billion Baht) to Thailand since the automakers started exporting the
Mazda Fighter and Ford Ranger in 1998. AAT has surpassed 300,000 units
production and is exporting the Fighter and Ranger to more than 130
markets worldwide, including Europe, South Africa, Australia, New
Zealand and Asia.

AAT's many achievements should be credited to its strong management team
and empeloyees, which itself speaks volumes of the successful
partnership between Mazda and Ford that combines the best of Mazda's
engineering expertise with Ford's global truck and SUV heritage.

About Mazda Motor Corporation

Mazda Motor Corporation was established in 1920 and is one
of Japan's leading automobile manufacturers. With its headquarters
in Hiroshima, Mazda has two plants in Japan and manufacturing and
assembly operations in sixteen other countries. Mazda cars and trucks
are sold in more than one hundred and thirty countries. Ford Motor and
Mazda agreed to collaborate in 1979, Ford Motor Company started
investing in Mazda and increased its shareholding to 33.39% as of March
31, 1999. For further information, please visit the Mazda Motor
Corporation home page at:

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company The principal activities of the Group are
within two principal business segments. The Automotive segment consists
of the design, manufacture, sale and service of cars and trucks,
automotive components and systems. The Financial Services segment
consists of vehicle-related financing, leasing and insurance, renting
and leasing of cars and trucks and renting industrial and construction
equipment and other activities. The Financial sector is operated through
two subsidiaries, The Ford Credit Company and The Hertz Corporation. The
Company operates in North America, South America, Europe, Africa and
Asia-Pacific. In 2001, the Company acquired the remaining interest of
18% in Hertz Corporation. Automotive accounted for 81% of 2002 revenues;
Ford credit services, 15%; automobile rental & leasing, 3% & other
financial services, 1%.For further information, please visit the Ford
Motor Company home page at: <> 

Mazda Motor Corporation
Mr K. Yoshitake

Oct. 14, 2003, 20:31 (JST)
Source: Mazda Motor Corporation
Mazda Motor Corporation <> 
Ford Motor Company <> 
From the Japan Corporate News Network <> 
Topic: Business Tieup
Sectors: Auto General

 2003 JCN Newswire. A division of Japan Corporate News Network KK. All
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