Mike Stevens | Dec 17, 2009

AROUND THIS TIME in 2008, Ford reduced its stake in Mazda from a controlling 33.4 percent to just over 13 percent. This week, Ford CEO Alan Mulally and Mazda CEO Takashi Yamanouchi have reaffirmed their commitment to long-term cooperation.

Meetings in recent weeks have seen executives from both companies discussing ways to continue collaborating under the new partnership.

While the new arrangement will result in fewer shared platforms, the two companies are expected to continue partnering on the development of components, systems and technologies.

"The strategic relationship continues. The business relationships continue. And they continue on the basis that they've always continued," Ford Chief Financial Officer Lewis Booth told The Detroit News.

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"Where it works to the benefit of both companies, we do things together, and where it doesn't, we don't."

Mazda Executive Vice President for Manufacturing echoed Booth's sentiments.

"Our strategic alliance will remain intact," he said. "Ford will remain an important partner for Mazda."

Ford executives say the US carmaker's continued partnership with Mazda is a key part of its global product plans, helping to keep development costs manageable for both companies.

The announcement follows news that Chinese manufacturer Geely has been confirmed as the preferred bidder for Volvo, a wholly-owned Ford subsidiary.

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