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President of Japanese automaker Mazda Motor Takashi Yamanouchi annouces the company's business forecasts in Tokyo on June 17, 2011.

YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images

Mazda Motor Corp. said on Friday it will build a $500-million factory in Mexico with trading company Sumitomo Corp. , starting production in 2013 as it aims to expand in the emerging South American markets.

The Japanese auto maker said it would build the Mazda2 and Mazda3 compact cars, as well as engines, at the new site, in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato. The factory will have an output capacity of 140,000 vehicles a year, Mazda said in a statement.

Mazda will own 70 per cent of the joint venture plant, while Sumitomo will hold 30 per cent. The factory will employ about 3,000 people at maximum capacity.

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