Japanese automaker Mazda is one of the automakers pursuing growth in the United States and the global auto market. Recently, the automaker held their annual ceremony to celebrate the first shipment of the year. The said ceremony was held at the automaker’s cargo dock located just within the vicinity of its headquarters in Hiroshima.

About 500 people were present at the ceremony. Attendees of the ceremony included Hisakazu Imaki, Mazda’s representative director, president, and Chief Executive Officer. Other senior executives of the company were also present at the event as well as employees. All of them witnessed the loading of Mazda’s first shipment of vehicles which will be unloaded in different countries across the world. Among the vehicles to be shipped around the world is the award winning Mazda2 as well as the Mazda CX-7.

At the ceremony, Hisakazu pointed out that this year, the automaker will be aiming to go forward and attain more growth. He said that “2008 will be the second year of our mid-term Mazda Advancement Plan, and it will be extremely important year for us”.

“The automotive industry’s operating environment is tougher than ever, but we will confidently go forward this year, taking steady steps in our operations toward achieving our goals,” he continued.

Mazda’s CEO pointed out that there are three areas where the automaker will be focusing on in their quest to further their growth. “To do so, we will emphasize three major issues: improving brand value, strengthening our business efficiency, and improving quality throughout the Mazda Group,” said Imaki.

He said that to attain their goal, they will be launching new vehicles this year. “Notably, this year Mazda will launch a number of exhilarating products here in Japan and overseas, including the all-new Mazda6. Leveraging these exciting products to come, we want to see this year made outstanding by a dramatic improvement in Mazda’s brand value,” stressed Imaki.

Dearborn automaker Ford owns a certain share of Mazda and it is quite possible that the American automaker will have a hand in the development of Mazda’s new vehicles. Last year, Mazda announced their Mazda Advanced mid-term plan after Ford had formulated their turnaround plan.

Mazda’s mid-term plan states that the automaker is targeting to sell 1.6 million units of vehicles by fiscal year 2010. To attain that sales goal, the automaker has increased their production output in Japan and also in China.

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