Ford Motor Company has vowed to expand its links with Mazda in a letter to around 20,000 employees.
According to the FT today, Jac Nasser, Ford's chief executive, told the Mazda workforce that Ford fully supported restructuring efforts and a new product offensive by the Japanese company, in which it holds a 34% stake.
Mr Nasser is due to meet Mazda executives this week to review the overhaul. "We continue to develop synergies that benefit Ford and Mazda, and I am fully supportive of the actions Mazda is taking to revitalise itself globally," he said.
Mr Nasser also endorsed Mazda's 'Millennium Plan', which aims to cut borrowings from about $4.7bn to less than $2bn over the next five years, while also reducing purchasing costs and increasing product investment. In his letter, Mr Nasser said the strategy signalled "a fresh direction at Mazda".
Mazda is due this week to unveil its first new model from the new investment push, a mid-size car dubbed the Atenza. In his letter to Mazda employees, Mr Nasser said: "It will be followed by an impressive product blitz of 36 new models worldwide over the next three years." (October 22, 2001)