Bloomberg News

Mazda Motor May Revise Export Plan on Stagnating U.S. Demand

December 01, 2011

(Updates with comment from CEO in second paragraph.)

Nov. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Mazda Motor Corp. may revise its plan to raise exports because of stagnating demand in the U.S., said Chief Executive Officer Takashi Yamanouchi.

“We will keep our overall framework for our midterm plan, but we may change some parts,” Yamanouchi said in an interview at the Tokyo Motor Show today. “We’re studying about whether to maintain our plan to raise our export ratio to 85 percent” from 80 percent, he said.

The Hiroshima, Japan-based automaker had hoped to boost U.S. sales to about 400,000 units by 2016 as part of a strategy to sell 1.7 million autos worldwide in the same period, Yamanouchi said earlier this month at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

Mazda, along with other Japanese automakers including Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co., is struggling to stay competitive in the U.S. as the yen’s gain against the dollar makes Japan-built autos less profitable to export.

Mazda’s U.S. sales rose 8.7 percent this year through October to 209,641 units. The carmaker expects sales in North America to climb 10 percent from a year earlier to 376,000 units in the 12 months ending March, according to its earnings forecast given on Nov. 2.

Its shares fell 2.1 percent as of 10:34 a.m. in Tokyo trading today, while the benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average dropped 0.8 percent.

--Editors: Chua Kong Ho, Dave McCombs

To contact the reporters on this story: Anna Mukai in Tokyo at amukai1@bloomberg.net; Yuki Hagiwara in ?? at yhagiwara1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at ycho2@bloomberg.net


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