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Ford Increases Its Stake In Mazda

Keen competition in the growing Asia-Pacific automotive market was a main driver in Ford Motor Co.’s decision to expand its collaboration with Mazda Motor Corp., a top Ford executive said Friday.

“They are very nimble. They can develop products very quickly,” Ford Executive Vice President W. Wayne Booker said of the Japanese automaker. “They have a great know-how of what Asian buyers want.”

Ford said Friday it would increase its stake in Mazda to 33.4 percent with a $480 million investment. Ford expects government approvals of the deal from the United States, Japan and Europe by the end of June.