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RX-8 Production line halted after fire!
Submitted by Dan Mazzella on Wednesday, December 15, 2004 - 9:17pm

Japanese automaker Mazda Motor Corp. said Thursday it had yet to estimate operational and financial damage from a fire at a major plant in Japan that caused the factory and another nearby operation to close.

"We completely shut down our Ujina 1 factory and Ujina 2, which are two of our main factories," a Mazda spokesman said.

"We do not know when we can resume their operations and how much damage we will see as a result of the fire," he said.

The fire broke out at around 11:00 pm Wednesday in the paint drying furnace of Ujina 1 plant in Hiroshima city, 650 kilometers (400 miles) southwest of Tokyo, before being extinguished after 6:00 am Thursday.

The fire was contained in the factory, but Mazda also closed the operation of Ujina 2, which is located right next to the plant, the automaker said.

Ujina 1, with an annual production capacity of 268,000 autos, is used to build the RX-8 sports car, the popular compact cars Demio and Verisa as well as MPV minivan.

Ujina 2 mainly builds Demio and has the annual production capacity of 236,000. No one was injured in the blaze.

Mazda stock fell 3.1 percent to 315 yen after the news of the fire that halted production at two plants reached the Japanese Market.

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subject:
I just hope that the Rx-8 is
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 23, 2004 - 4:04pm
I just hope that the Rx-8 is not affected at the long run. I one day hope to own a Rx-8 in the near future.
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subject:
The story has taken a twist.
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 22, 2004 - 8:59pm
The story has taken a twist. On Wednesday, Mazda Motor Corp. said that it would restart operations at the Ujina No. 1 plant on Jan. 6. The twist is Mazda said they will resume production of the Japanese market Demio subcompact only. Even then, painting will be done at the Ujina No. 2 plant. Mazda has not stated when production of the other models will resume.

A Mazda spokesperson said, "Production restoration of the Demio was easier than other models as the Demio has been manufactured at both the No.1 and No.2 plants, which was not the case for other models."

The Demio is also sold in Europe as the Mazda2. Mazda's goal for January is to produce 4000 Demios at the No. 1 plant, and another 4600 Demios at the No. 2 plant.

For those of us who are interested in the other models, we may see shortages.

The fire resulted in a total lost production of 7,832 cars. Mazda's four car assembly plants in Japan have a total capacity of 898,000 vehicles a year, including 268,000 at Ujina No.1.
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subject:
Shortage...
author:
date:
December 20, 2004 - 2:12pm
Guys,
After a talk with Mazda sources this weekend, they are still not exactly sure of the exact damage toll in terms of vehicle shortages, but they've informed us that if they do see any shortages it will be around March '05.

-Berny
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subject:
Additional comments
author:
date:
December 16, 2004 - 12:22pm
In addition to the other models, Miata's are assembled there as well. Ordinarily, Mazda shuts down production between December 24th, and January 5th, so the hope is that they don’t fall too far behind. At this point, Mazda cannot say for sure that the Ujina plant will be operational by the 6th. The plant had not been running at full capacity, so perhaps when it reopens, they can make up for the downtime.

The initial estimates are that 470 cars were damaged – about half a day’s supply. Couple that with the additional downtime and Mazda will be short about a week’s supply of cars. In the U.S., the only Mazda vehicle that is in short supply is the Mazda3. Fortunately, those are not assembled at the Ujina No. 1 plant.
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subject:
News Coverage
author:
date:
December 16, 2004 - 11:13am
Here is some news coverage from Japan, in Japanese:
NHK TV
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subject:
that's just awful. at least n
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 16, 2004 - 10:56am
that's just awful. at least no one was injured but all those people are now without a paycheck. i hope they can get the plant running again soon so those people can go back to work.

-zoom44
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subject:
Thoughts...
author:
No Rotor
date:
December 16, 2004 - 8:52am
First off we pray that no one was injured in the blaze.

After we find out about that I guess we pray that it was contained to the paint drying furnace and that it will not halt production for too long.

-MichRX7
Rotary Revolution 2005
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