TOKYO -- Mazda Motor Corp. isn't sure when it can resume production of the RX-8, MPV and Miata after a fire in an assembly plant in Japan Dec. 15.
On Dec. 24, Mazda estimated that the damaged plant, Ujina No. 1 in Hiroshima, would not resume production of those three models until the end of March. If so, Mazda would lose about 15,000 vehicles bound for North America from January through March, according to an Automotive News estimate.
From January through March in 2004, Mazda sold 13,714 Miatas, MPVs and RX-8s in the United States.
But as of Dec. 1, the U.S. days supply of the three models was above normal: 128 for the RX-8, 93 for the MPV and 181 for the Miata. Sixty days is considered ideal.
From Dec. 15 to Dec. 24, the fire resulted in lost production aimed for North America of 586 RX-8s, 1,507 MPVs and 353 Miatas.
The plant will resume production Thursday, Jan. 6, of only the Demio, known as the Mazda2 outside Japan. The compact is not sold in the United States.
You may e-mail Yuzo Yamaguchi at