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Mazda has announced it will build a new transmission plant in Thailand, with operations set to begin between April and September 2015.

At a cost of $273 million (26 billion yen) and with an annual production capacity of approximately 400,000 automatic transmission units, Mazda says the plant’s construction is in response to the increasing demand for models featuring the company’s Skyactiv technology such as the Mazda CX-5 and all-new Mazda6.

Mazda’s president and CEO, Takashi Yamanouchi, said while the company’s Japanese Hofu plant will remain the chief production facility for transmissions, the Thai plant is part of Mazda’s global expansion required in order to achieve its annual global sales volume goal of 1.7 million units by March 2016.

Mazda Skyactiv Transmission

The new Chonburi province-based plant, to be run as Mazda Powertrain Manufacturing (Thailand), will be located about five kilometres north of Mazda and Ford’s AutoAlliance Thailand (AAT) facility and will supply automatic transmissions for Skyactiv models produced at AAT, as well as other Mazda vehicle production facilities around the world.

Back in 2011, the Thailand flood disaster impacted manufacturing at the AutoAlliance plant, with production of the Mazda BT-50 and Ford Ranger utes both affected.