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by Alex Gibson

Mazda has revealed plans to increase production of its SkyActiv transmission units from July 2014, in response to growing global sales of models equipped with the technology.

The units include Mazda’s SkyActiv-Drive six-speed automatic transmission and SkyActiv-MT six-speed manual transmission.

Mazda currently produces 750,000 SkyActiv transmission units each year at its plant in Yamaguchi, just outside of Hiroshima, Japan. It is hoping to increase this number to 1,114,000 units, by expanding existing local assembly lines.

Mazda will produce a further 400,000 units at a new transmission plant in Thailand from 2016.

This comes as part of Mazda’s plan to increase its global sales to 1.7 million cars annually by 2016, up from just over 1,053,000 vehicles last year.

Australia first received SkyActiv transmissions in the 2011 Mazda 3 SP20. They now feature across the CX-5 and Mazda 6 ranges and will continue again in the forthcoming next-generation Mazda 3.

The plans come after Mazda’s recent announcement that it had posted its first profit in five years.

Mazda is still believed to be searching for car manufacturers interested in purchasing its SkyActiv technology, which could help recover some of the relatively small car maker’s investment costs.




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