Mazda began production today of the all-new Mazda CX-5 compact SUV at Hofu plant No. 2 in southern Japan. The company made the move in response to growing global demand for crossover SUVs like the CX-5, which is also built at Mazda’s Hiroshima facility as well as in China and Malaysia.

“I’m pleased that production of the CX-5 has begun at Hofu Plant,” said Hidenori Kawakami, executive officer assisting the officer in charge of global production and plant general manager. “We are keenly aware of our position as one of the parent factories in Mazda’s global manufacturing network and working to raise Mazda’s brand value. We carefully craft each car with attention to detail, pride and commitment in an effort to please our customers.”

Mazda is working to achieve its global sales target of 1.65 million units by the end of its three-year business plan launched last fiscal year. The company has made its production system more flexible to stay abreast of surging SUV demand. The Hofu plant began production last December of the Mazda CX-3, the popular B-SUV also manufactured in Hiroshima. More recently, in August, the company enhanced the system for building crossovers at the Hiroshima facility’s car body factory.

Mazda makes a number of other models at Hofu, including the Mazda2 supermini, Mazda3 compact and mid-sized Mazda6, along with SKYACTIV transmissions. Located some 110km southwest of Hiroshima, the transmission facility opened in 1981, with vehicle manufacturing starting the following year. Total car production surpassed 10 million units in 2013.

First launched in 2012, the award-winning CX-5 is the top-selling Mazda in Europe thanks to its winning combination of SKYACTIV Technology and KODO – Soul of Motion styling. More than 1.7 million CX-5s have been produced thus far, and the model currently accounts for some 25% of Mazda’s global sales. The all-new CX-5, which made its world premiere at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show and debuted in Europe in March at the Geneva Motor Show, went on sale in Europe in mid-2017.