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Mazda looks to counter currency headache

Mazda dealers could soon be selling models built in factories outside Japan in a bid to shield them from dramatic swings in currency values.

Trading difficulties caused by the strength of the yen and the weakness of sterling have prompted officials at the Japanese firm’s UK subsidiary to start investigating alternative sources of supply, AM can reveal.

“We need to consider how we can hedge against currency fluctuations and we have a number of plans in place to give us a firmer base and allow us to escape the peaks and troughs that we’ve seen in the past.

“This could mean sourcing product from places other than Japan.

“We think a footprint in other regions might be the easiest way of accounting for the natural cycle in currency performance so we can grow our volumes when the pound is stronger and reduce them when it is weaker,” said Mazda Motors UK managing director Jeremy Thomson.

The Kent-based firm sources its pick-up truck range from Thailand, but its entire passenger car range is imported from Japan.
“Currency exchange rates have a greater impact on automotive businesses than any other.

“We have to ride the waves of positive and negative impacts relating to the value of the yen and while we’ve enjoyed benefits previously, the present situation creates difficulties.

“Mazda has 13 production facilities in eight other countries that include the USA, China and South Africa.

“We need to be flexible and I think our strategic outlook needs to include far-reaching considerations like making use of this - but nothing has been decided so far,” he said.

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