Mazda Motor Corporation has announced plans to increase SKYACTIV transmission* production capacity at the Nakanoseki district of Hofu Plant in Yamaguchi, Japan. Production capacity, currently at 750,000 units annually, will be increased to 1,140,000 units in July 2014 in response to growing sales of SKYACTIV models around the globe.

The initiative involves adding machining and assembly lines to a n affiliated company's building located next to the Nakanoseki district. Preparations will begin later this month with the installation of production equipment such as multi -function machining centers. Mazda aims to begin operations in July 2014.

A signin g ceremony for an agreement related to the production capacity increase took place at the Hofu City Hall today. Among the attendees at the ceremony were Mazda's Nariaki Uchida, Executive Officer and General Manager of Hofu Plant; Masato Matsuura, the Mayor of Hofu city, and Susumu Kimura from Yamaguchi Prefecture's Department of Commerce and Industry.

Nariaki Uchida commented, "Operations began at the Nakanoseki district of Hofu plant in December 1981, and it is now Mazda's chief transmission production fa cility. This is where we make SKYACTIV transmissions for the Mazda CX -5, which was named Car of the Year Japan last year, and our flagship model the Mazda Atenza (known as Mazda6 overseas).

Moving forward, Mazda is committed to delivering vehicles featurin g SKYACTIV Technology to the greatest number of customers possible and to contribute to the further development of Yamaguchi pr efecture and the city of Hofu." Mazda is strengthening its production system in order to achieve its goal of achieving global sal es of 1.7 million vehicles annually by the fiscal year ending March 2016. Eighty percent of those vehicles are expected to feature SKYACTIV technology. In addition to the Nakanoseki district, Mazda will construct a new transmission plant in Thailand with a n annual production capacity of around 400,000 units. Operations at the new plant are expected to begin in the first half of the fiscal year ending March 2016.

The SKYACTIV transmission was first installed in the Mazda Axela (known as Mazda3 overseas) int roduced to the Japanese market in 2011, and it is now available in five different models. It will also be available in the all -new Mazda3 due to be launched globally starting in Nor th America in autumn this year.

* Includes both SKYACTIV -DRIVE automatic t ransmission and SKYACTIV -MT manual transmission.