Mazda has announced that it is increasing its production capacity for its SKYACTIV transmissions—both automatics and manuals—at its production plant in Hofu from 750,000 per year to 1,140,000 by July 2014.
The company will be adding extensive machining and assembly equipment to accommodate the production increase.
Because Mazda has a goal of selling 1.7-million vehicles globally by March 2016, and because it expects some 80% of those vehicles to use SKYACTIV technology, it is also building a new transmission plant in Thailand. That plant will have a 400,000-unit capacity. It is expected to come on line in 2015.
The first SKYACTIV transmission appeared in the Japan market in 2011, when it was used in the Axela, known elsewhere as the Mazda3. It is now globally available and used in a total of five Mazda models, including the CX-5 and the Mazda6.
The whole notion behind SKYACTIV—which also includes engines and even body engineering and manufacturing methods—is to achieve superlative fuel efficiency while still retaining the sort of driving dynamics that are associated with the Mazda brand (a.k.a., “Zoom-zoom”).