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Mazda will build a Mazda5-based vehicle for Nissan

Mazda has announced that they will be producing a version of their popular Mazda5 to be rebadged and sold as a Nissan starting in May but the two automakers only intend to sell this Mazda-built Nissan compact minivan in Japan.

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This is not the first recent joint production between Mazda and Nissan, with Mazda producing the Nissan Vanette and Nissan building the Mazda Familia Van but this is especially big news as the Mazda5 (the Mazda Premacy in Japan) is one of the automaker’s bestselling vehicles. There have been discussions suggesting that Ford Motor Company is allegedly looking to continue to lower their interest in Mazda and if that proves to be the case, Mazda will have to attack the industry on their own for the first time in decades. Moves like this are expected to increase sales for Mazda – helping them to make a go of it without the aid of Ford.

On the other hand, Nissan has continued to grow around the world and selling a rebadged Mazda5 should allow them to increase sales without increasing production or research & development expenses. The Mazda5 is one of the more popular compact minivans in the various world markets where it is sold and while the announcement states that the Nissan version will be “clearly differentiated” from the Mazda5, Nissan likely plans to enjoy the same success when their version of the ‘5’ hits the Japanese market.

In the short term, this cooperation between Mazda and Nissan means very little but with Mazda jumping out of Ford’s safe, warm nest perhaps the folks at Nissan-Renault are eyeing up a possible asset to the company? Mazda is alive and well but should Ford Motor Company completely cash out, perhaps the relatively small Japanese automaker could look to join forces with Nissan on a greater level. In the US, Nissan is more of a higher-end car company compared to Mazda, with vehicles like the Maxima and 370Z stressing sportiness, quality and comfort aimed at the “more mature” crowd where the bestselling Mazda vehicles focus more on low price and efficiency; targeting younger buyers. These two companies don’t pose much true head to head competition and without Ford, Mazda may struggle to produce their own crossovers, SUVs and trucks – vehicle which Nissan offers in the US market.

Joint efforts between Mazda and Nissan in the US market are purely speculation but in the meantime, Mazda will begin producing a rebadged Mazda5 in May for Nissan in the Japanese market.

Other Mazda and Nissan News:
Mazda Minagi Concept leaked ahead of Geneva debut
Honda and Mazda Collaborating on B-Spec Stock Racing
Nissan Passed Honda in Total Global Sales
Nissan Leaf tucked away at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show

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