Mich. plant hurts Mazda bottom line
TOKYO -- Mazda Motor Corp.'s struggling Michigan assembly operation dragged its North America business deeper into the red, undercutting a fragile global rebound in the latest quarter.
Mazda's operating loss in North America rose to ¥10.72 billion, or $134.8 million, in the April-June quarter, from a loss of $88.6 million a year earlier, when global production was cut by parts shortages after the 2011 earthquake in Japan.
The worsening results came despite increases in North American unit sales and revenue. Sales in Mazda's biggest market increased 4 percent to 90,000 vehicles; revenue climbed 61 percent to $1.91 billion.
North America was the only region with an operating loss in the fiscal first quarter, holding back global earnings. Mazda swung to an operating profit of $22.6 million in the quarter, from a year-earlier loss. Its net loss narrowed from a year earlier to $81.2 million. Mazda has posted a net loss for four years in a row.
Kiyoshi Ozaki, executive vice president for finance, blamed the North American loss on the phase-out of the Mazda6 sedan. That car, the only Mazda built in North America, is being wound down in anticipation of a redesigned 2013 version.
The Mazda6 is built at AutoAlliance International Inc., a Flat Rock, Mich., assembly plant owned jointly with Ford since 1985. But the next-generation Mazda6 will be built in Japan, and Mazda has announced no plans for building another vehicle at Flat Rock.
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