TOKYO -- Mazda Motor Corp., Japan's fifth-largest automaker, is set to withdraw from the luxury car market, business daily Nihon Keizai Shimbun said on Tuesday.
Mazda, one-third owned by Ford Motor Co., will stop production of the Millenia -- its only remaining luxury model -- by the end of this year and halt sales by the end of 2004, the paper said, citing company sources.
A spokesman for Mazda said: "We are considering various options for what to do about the Millenia but nothing has been decided yet."
The paper said the move is designed to concentrate the automaker's resources on small and midsized passenger vehicles as well as sports cars, where it has considerable strength.
Only 1,300 units of the Millenia were sold last year, the paper said.
Mazda, in the midst of a five-year turnaround plan, is counting on new models such as the award-winning midsized Mazda6/Atenza and the Mazda2/Demio subcompact to boost global sales and put it on a firm recovery track.
Local media said earlier this month that rival Mitsubishi Motors Corp. would make only one high-end sedan instead of two.