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Mazda, Ford Renew Talks on European Production

June 16, 1994

TOKYO (AP) _ Mazda Motor Corp. said Thursday it has restarted negotiations to jointly produce cars in Europe with Ford Motor Co.

Mazda, Japan’s fourth-largest auto maker, and Ford scrapped plans to build cars together in Europe in March 1993 after failing to reach an agreement. Ford owns 24.54 percent of Hiroshima-based Mazda, which is struggling financially.

Yoshifumi Matsuzawa, a Mazda spokesman, said signs of a reviving European economy prompted the two companies to restart talks on joint production.

Matsuzawa said details, including car model, volume, local content of parts and production sites, have yet to be decided. Ford has extensive operations in Europe.

Earlier this month, Mazda reported a loss of $457 million for the fiscal year ended March 31, compared with a profit of $103 million for fiscal 1993. The company blamed weak demand and the Japanese yen’s strength against the dollar for the loss.

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