Mazda has announced last night that it is breaking up with corporate partner Ford. Until now, Ford owned a 33.4 percent of Mazda’s stock, giving it control over the company under Japanese law. But now it’s selling off 20 percent, worth approximately $540 million, to raise desperately needed cash.
The alliance began back in 1979, when Mazda spent much of the decade developing the fuel-thirsty rotary engine, even after the 1973 oil crisis. Ford purchased a 27 percent stake then and slowly increased its share during the 80s and early 90s. Together, they shared many platforms such as the Mazda MX-6/Ford Probe, 323/Escort and 6/Fusion. The two companies have said they will continue to save costs by working together on more platforms in the future.
This news follows GM’s announcement yesterday that it would sell its remaining 3.02 percent stake in Suzuki.