Tuesday, October 17, 2000

New SUV, Tribute Production

Mazda Motor Corporation has begun production of the right-hand-drive Tribute, its new sports utility vehicle (SUV), in Japan. A ceremony to mark the line-off of the new model was held today at its Hofu Plant, attended by President Mark Fields and approximately 200 Mazda people. Mazda plans to produce 40,000 units* of Tribute annually at its newer facility, Plant II, in Hofu. (*includes Ford cars)

Mazda New SUV, Tribute
"Tribute is not only the first model jointly developed by Mazda and Ford based on the strategy of using a common architecture, but also the vehicle to lead Mazda into the coming century. From planning to manufacturing, I believe both companies learned a great deal from each other, and the success of this model in the market will give us even more knowledge as to how we can work together," Fields said. " This model will offer customers pleasurable driving with many new ideas that stir their emotions. Our gratitude to our customers is embodied in the Tribute, as its name indicates," he added.

William Clay Ford, Jr., chairman of Ford Motor Company, and great-grandson of the company's founder, sent a congratulatory message to Mazda employees. "Mazda and Ford have entered a new age of partnership with unprecedented sharing of expertise and technology and expanded production of vehicles at each other's plants. Mazda Tribute and Ford Escape are wonderful examples of how our companies will share vehicle architecture, while maintaining the unique brand image of our vehicles."

New SUV, Mazda Tribute
The Tribute has a distinctive, sophisticated style that attracts attention in the city and the countryside. It has a spacious interior with efficient packaging and superb driving performance with a powerful 3.0-liter V-6 or brisk 2.0-liter in-line four-cylinder engine. These features combine to represent the Mazda brand personality of being "stylish," "insightful" and "spirited."

The name Tribute, meaning "something to give praise or thanks to show respect or admiration," carries Mazda's message that the vehicle, in creativity and engineering, serves as a tribute to the customers who drive it, and to their style and spirit. To enhance brand identity and consistency, Mazda will use Tribute as the vehicle's name in every market around the world, as was done with Premacy and MPV.

Mazda Tribute
The production of the left-hand-drive Tribute began in June at the Kansas City assembly plant, with sales in North America beginning in August. Its sophisticated style, packaging and driving performance have gained popularity with customers, and it has been enjoying even higher than projected sales. Cumulative sales as of the end of September reached 7,015 units. Details of the Mazda Tribute and its release date in the Japanese market will be announced on Tuesday, October 30.

Find more news and information at www.mazda.com

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