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Auto blogFri, 24 Oct 2014 09:30:00 EST
Mazda has officially kicked off production of the next-generation Mazda2 at the company's new factory in Salamanca, Mexico. Alongside the auto assembly plant, operations have also commenced at the facility's engine machining factory.
"With the start of production of the all-new Mazda2, operations underway at the engine machining plant, and an increase in our annual production capacity, we now have an even stronger production framework capable of supplying global markets with Skyactiv products of the same high quality level as those made in Japan," Mazda de Mexico Vehicle Operation's President Keishi Egawa said in a statement. "At the same time, we are pleased to be able to make a contribution to Mexico's further economic growth."
MMVO joins Mazda's Hofu Plant in Japan and the Auto Alliance factory in Thailand, which commenced Mazda2 production in July and September, respectively.
Faulty Takata airbag inflators keep taking their toll on automakers. Mazda is the latest to be affected in the US by announcing a recall covering 18,050 Mazda6 and RX-8 models to replace the front, passenger-side airbags. Specifically, the campaign covers 18,000 Mazda6 units from the 2003 and 2004 model years built between May 29, 2002, and March 4, 2004, and 50 RX-8 vehicles from the 2004 model year made between June 25, 2003, and June 30, 2003.
As with the rest of the vehicles with these faulty inflators, it's possible for the part to rupture when deploying the airbag and potentially spray shrapnel at the occupant. Mazda's defect notice goes into a bit more detail than most about the problem saying: "some propellant wafers have been produced with an inadequate compaction force, or may have been exposed to uncontrolled moisture conditions (those wafers could have absorbed moisture beyond the allowable limits)."
This isn't Mazda's first difficulty with Takata-supplied airbags this year. The company was among the seven automakers that recalled vehicles in hot-weather states over the inflators. It also had to recently fix 42,000 Mazda6 vehicles in China over the issue.
It's only been a couple of years since Mazda introduced its CX-5 crossover, so it's hardly in need of replacement just yet. But to keep it fresh, the Japanese automaker is apparently preparing to roll out a facelift for the compact crossover.
The facelifted model is expected to debut at the LA Auto Show later this month, but before it does, a handful of images - apparently scanned from a brochure - have leaked out online. From what we can see, it looks like the revised CX-5 features a new grille with horizontal bars, LED headlamps derived from those on the new Mazda2, new fog light surrounds, new taillight graphics and, of course, new wheels.
Unfortunately we can't see what's going on inside, but it'd be safe to bet that, along with the revised exterior detailing, Mazda's probably taken the opportunity to update the interior as well.