LOS ANGELES -- About 110 employees of Mazda North American Operations were laid off this month, the company says.
Spokesman Jeremy Barnes says the vast majority of the layoffs occurred in the United States, which has about 800 employees.
Hit hardest was the headquarters in Irvine, Calif. -- which has 340 employees, most in sales and marketing. Barnes said other cutbacks were made at the r&d and design centers in Southern California. Layoffs also were made at the five regional offices.
"Everything is being done to reduce costs and make yourself as competitive as you can," Barnes said.
He said no officers were affected and added that Bob Mercer, vice president of dealer development, retired.
Mazda's disclosure today follows word from Hyundai Motor America employees that the company laid off 46 employees, or about 8 percent of its work force, this week.
Barnes said North American Operations covers the United States, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico. He did not know the total number of employees in the North American unit.
In 2008, Mazda sales in the United States dropped 10.7 percent from 2007, to 263,949 units. In January, Mazda sales fell 27.3 percent from year-earlier levels while the overall U.S. market dropped 37.1 percent.