Ford Motor Co. and Mazda Motor Corp. plan to build their first jointly produced automobile, a sports utility vehicle, in the spring of 2000, a Japanese newspaper reported. The project marks the first joint production effort since Detroit-based Ford took effective management control of Hiroshima-based Mazda in 1996, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported, citing company sources. The plan will cut development and manufacturing costs by unifying platforms and sharing common parts, the newspaper said. The two companies are planning to build two different models of the 2000cc sports utility vehicle, the paper reported.
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