In order to keep up with the growing demand in the Central and South American markets as well as to reduce its dependence on Japan, Mazda has formed a new joint venture Sumitomo Corporation to build a new factory hub in Mexico. The joint venture facility is named Mazda Motor Manufacturing de Mexico S.A. de C.V. (MMMdM) and is located in the Mexican city of Salamanca, in the state of Guanajuato. On Wednesday, the company held a special ceremony to mark the beginning of construction of the factory. The guest of honor at the event was the Minister of Economy of Mexico, Mr. Bruno Ferrari. “Since Mazda established its sales network in Mexico six years ago, we have experienced a remarkable acceptance from the people of Mexico. Last year Mazda sold over twenty-five thousand vehicles and captured over three percent market share,” said Mazda’s President Yamanouchi. “We are excited to be constructing this new facility here in Mexico with our partner Sumitomo Corporation. It will be vital to bolstering our expansion in Central and South America,” he added. The new Mexican facility will include both vehicle and engine assembly plants and will begin operations in March 2014 with an estimated annual production capacity of 140,000 units. The plant will produce the Mazda2 (Demio in Japan) and Mazda3 (Axela in Japan) compact models.