UPDATE 1-Mazda, Sumitomo to build Mexico car plant -Nikkei

Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:18pm EST

* Mazda, Sumitomo to spend $355-475 mln on new plant -Nikkei

* Plant to start in 2013, make 100,000 compact cars a year

* Will be first overseas plant controlled by Mazda (Adds details, Mazda comment)

TOKYO, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Japan's Mazda Motor (7261.T) and trading house Sumitomo Corp (8053.T) will jointly spend 30 billion to 40 billion yen ($355 million-$475 million) to build a car plant in Mexico that will supply Latin America, the Nikkei business daily reported on Tuesday.

A Mazda spokesman said the carmaker was considering options in emerging markets but had not made any concrete new plans. He declined to comment directly on the report.

Mazda will hold a majority stake in the joint venture operating the plant, which will start rolling out compact cars such as the Demio and Axela flagship models in 2013 at a pace of 100,000 units a year, the Nikkei said.

The plant will be Mazda's fourth overseas production base after the United States, China and Thailand, and mark the first time that Mazda, in which Ford Motor (F.N) previously held a one-third controlling stake, holds control of an overseas plant, the Nikkei said.

It will be Mazda's first overseas plant since 1998, when it opened a Thai plant jointly with Ford, the newspaper said.

Ford said this month it would cut its stake in Mazda to 3.5 percent, losing its place as the Japanese carmaker's top shareholder. [ID:nTOE6AH057] ($1=84.29 Yen) (Reporting by Yumiko Nishitani; Editing by Edmund Klamann)