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Mazda to suspend SUV production

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Mazda to suspend SUV production


The Kansas City Star

The Ford Claycomo assembly plant will not build the Mazda Tribute sport-utility vehicle for the 2007 model year, a Ford official said Tuesday.

Mazda’s decision to suspend manufacture of the Tribute from May through the end of the year is not expected to affect production levels of Claycomo’s SUV line, which also produces Ford Escapes and Mercury Mariners, said George Pipas, Ford’s sales analyst.

The Tribute is Mazda’s version of the Escape, Ford’s popular compact SUV. Ford owns one-third of Mazda Motor Corp.

Pipas said the 2007 model year production of the Escape and Mariner would be relatively short this year, from May to December, because Ford is expected to begin building a redesigned version of the vehicle next January for the 2008 model year. That prompted Mazda to opt out of having its model made at Claycomo for 2007.

Pipas said Mazda’s decision was not expected to slow down the SUV line at Claycomo.

“Overtime is still scheduled as far as I can see,” he said. “We’re going to continue producing Escapes and Mariners, with the Tribute being out of the picture for a period of time.”

Ford built 40,677 Tributes at the Claycomo plant last year, compared with 215,371 Escapes.

Ford transferred production of the Mariner to Claycomo last fall. In the final three months of 2005, Ford built 9,038 Mariners at the Claycomo plant.

Mazda sold 36,761 Tributes in 2005, about an 11 percent decline from the previous year.

The Claycomo plant also builds the F-Series pickup, the top-selling vehicle in the U.S.

Link: http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/b...ss/13928305.htm

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So...did all our bitching about the lame facelift work?

Seriously, this is expected.

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