Is Ford Coming Home?

Mazda Motor Corp. is winding down production at Ford Motor Co.’s (NYSE:F) Flat Rock plant as it moves forward with plans to collaborate with Fiat SpA.

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Mazda will move production of its Masda6 sedan from Flat Rock to Japan later this summer, though it will maintain its 50 percent stake in the Flat Rock plant’s operations. The Flat Rock plant is home to Ford’s Mustang and, beginning next year, the new Fusion, which is currently built only in Mexico.

Ford announced its decision last fall to invest $555 million in the Flat Rock plant to add capacity for the Fusion. Ford bought in 1979 a one-quarter stake in Mazda, which built the Flat Rock plant in 1985 to make the RX-7 sports car and B-series truck. Ford now owns just 3 percent of Mazda after scaling back its ownership of foreign automakers to survive the recession.

Ford purchased a 50 percent stake in the Flat Rock plant in 1992. Mustang production was moved in 2004 from Ford’s assembly plant in Dearborn, Michigan, to Flat Rock.

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