Mazda has announced plans to significantly increase production capacity for both its CX-5 crossover utility vehicle and its line of SkyActiv gasoline and diesel engines, as a result of strong worldwide demand for the products.
CX-5 production will be boosted from 200,000 units to 240,000 units per year, beginning March 2013, by expanding production from Mazda's Ujina Plant No.2 to also include Ujina Plant No.1, both of which are located near the company's headquarters in Hiroshima, Japan.
The CX-5 is the first model to fully incorporate Mazda's SkyActiv technology, which helps to provide improved fuel economy without sacrificing the driving experience.
Since sales began in February, Mazda has received orders far surpassing initial estimates and has upgraded its annual global sales target from 160,000 to 190,000 units for the fiscal year 2012
The company says assembly-line upgrades based on its Monotsukuri Innovation process will enable production of the CX-5 at Ujina Plant No.1 earlier than anticipated.
Monotsukuri Innovation is a structural reform project which fundamentally changed the way Mazda makes cars and enabled the development of SkyActiv technology. It is aimed at achieving economies of scale and the flexibility to swiftly respond to changes in market trends and involves various functional units across the company, including development, manufacturing and purchasing.
At the same time, Mazda announced plans to double production capacity at its engine plant in Hiroshima, which produces SkyActiv-D diesel and SkyActiv-G gasoline engines.
Production volume will be increased from 400,000 units to 800,000 units per year, starting in October 2012. That volume increase is enabled by Mazda's flexible production system, which makes efficient use of multipurpose equipment.
The SkyActiv-G is a highly efficient, new-generation direct-injection gasoline engine. It is currently available in North America in the Mazda3 and the Mazda CX-5. It will also be available in the next generation Mazda6 to be released later this year.
The SkyActiv-D is a new-generation clean diesel engine that complies with global exhaust gas regulations without the need for a costly nitrogen oxide (NOx) aftertreatment system. It is expected to become available in North America next year, in the CX-5.
Mazda plans to sell 1,700,000 units globally in the fiscal year ending March 2016, when models employing SkyActiv technologies are expected to account for 80 percent of the company's total sales.