Mazda and Subaru may soon be forced to axe two of their models in the US market, the Mazda6 mid-size vehicle and the Subaru Tribeca SUV, due to low volumes that undermine the efficiency of the U.S. plants that they are built in, according to a newspaper report from Japan’s business daily Nikkan Kogyo. It should be noted though that spokesmen for both companies declined to comment on the report.
Nikkan Kogyo wrote that Mazda is planning to discontinue production of the Mazda6 at the Flat Rock, Michigan plant, which it operates as a joint venture together with Ford Motor Co., as sales missed expectations. When Mazda introduce the latest generation of the mid-size model in 2008, the company expected an annual production of around 100,000 units, but last year, the plant churned out just 45,168 Mazda6s. In April, Mazda6 posted an increase of 7.8 percent but sales reached just 2,734 vehicles.
But being that the mid size segment is an important category, the report says that Mazda is mulling other options including the introduction of another model or build a similar vehicle at a lower cost factory in Mexico.
As for the Tribeca, which has been in production since 2005 at Subaru’s Indiana plant, the Japanese newspaper said the company has stopped the development of a new version and plans to use the increased capacity to build the better selling Outback and Legacy. This year through April, Subaru sold just 910 examples of the SUV model.